The Right Response
TRUE REPENTANCE WILL INVOLVE AN ADMISSION OF GUILT, AN APOLOGY, AND AN EAGERNESS TO MAKE AMENDS.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read 2 Corinthians 7:8-11.
Verse of the Day: “Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins” (Acts 3:19).
Alex couldn’t stand to see the look in his mother’s eyes.
He and his little sister, Annie, had been arguing. Alex had gotten angry and had punched Annie hard, knocking her down. Annie’s cries had brought Mom running into the playroom, asking what had happened. Alex had admitted what he had done and had even said, “I’m sorry.”
“She just makes me so mad,” Alex said.
His mom picked up Annie and cradled the crying girl in her arms. She cast a woeful look at Alex as she carried Annie out of the room.
“I didn’t hit her that hard,” Alex explained lamely, following his mother and sister.
Mom still said nothing. Her eyes looked sad.
“What do you want me to say?” Alex asked. “I said I’m sorry.”
“Just saying ‘I’m sorry’ isn’t true repentance, Alex,” Mom said.
Alex dropped his gaze. He and Mom had discussed this before. “OK,” he said, though his voice still held a stubborn edge. “I was wrong.”
Mom still said nothing.
Alex sighed. He touched his sister on the arm. “Annie,” he said, his voice softer now. “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Will you forgive me?”
Annie’s only reply was a quiet sniff. Mom lowered Annie to the floor.
Alex knelt in front of his little sister. He raised his eyes to his mom’s face and thought he detected a slight expression of approval. “I mean it, Annie. I’m sorry. If you’ll forgive me, I’ll show you how sorry I am.” He held out his hand.
Annie sniffed again and took Alex’s hand. They walked together into the playroom.
TO DISCUSS: Do you think it’s enough to say “I’m sorry” to God or to someone else you’ve wronged? What is the right way to respond when you do something wrong? According to today’s Bible reading, what other things (in addition to an apology) should godly sorrow produce in us?
TO PRAY: “Lord, when we mistreat someone, give us the courage to say, ‘I’m sorry’ and to make things right between ourselves and the person we’ve hurt.”