When was the last time someone asked for forgiveness?
Recently a friend of mine asked for forgiveness because he had failed a task I had given him. He said he was sorry, but I knew he had no remorse; he just wanted me to give him a pass and then move on.
I wasn’t looking to give him a pass, I wanted to know that he was truly sorry about what he had (or in this case, hadn’t) done and that he wished things could have gone differently. I don’t carry a grudge, but I can tell you that going forward, I don’t ask him for favors and certainly don’t trust him as much as I did.
God feels this way too. When we wrong him, he wants us to be sorry on the inside, not just the outside.
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate” (Joel 2:13a, NIV).
Tearing apart one’s clothing was a public way of showing that one was in grief. God is making it clear that he does not want our remorse for the wrong that we’ve done to be only outwardly visible.
We are called to ensure that our hearts reflect the torn and grieving expression that rending one’s garments had in Biblical times. So this week, instead of just saying you’re sorry, ensure that you are truly sorry deep down.
Copyright 2016 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.