"Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm Sorry

I'm not sure how many of you reading this will remember a very popular 1970 movie, Love Story. The line that most people will remember from that movie is "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Now love can go a long way but there are times that our trash talk gets us to a place that the only thing that will fix a relationship is to confront that issue and admit what you did and tell that person you are sorry. Henry Winkler who played Arthur Fonzarelli - The Fonz - on the sitcom Happy Days had difficulty admitting when he was wrong. The Fonz use to drag out the word wrong: "I'm wrrrooooong" because he was just too cool to ever be wrong about anything.

Some of us are that way too. Either we do not recognize when we are wrong or we are too proud to admit that we are wrong. When we do not admit that we are wrong then we are slowing up the healing process of forgiveness not only from the person we wronged but ultimately the flow of grace from God.

David wrote Psalm 51 acknowledging that he had been wrong in many things and that ultimately it was God that he had sinned against. By admitting our mistakes we are brought back into His glorious fellowship. Our sad songs are replaced with praises to Him.

Contrary to the line "Love means never having to say you're sorry", love means you do say I'm sorry so that forgiveness can begin with God and the individual you have wronged.

Why do we hold back from confessing to God and others when we know we have done or said something that was wrong? I think it is because we think that the person we wronged will not forgive us. And you know, that may be absolutely true. But when you come before the Lord and the person you wronged with a sincere heart, I know what He will do. He will forgive. Your restoration will begin from the brokenness. I can't tell you what the person you wronged will do.

Lisa Harper, A Perfect Mess, writes "God's love frees us from the muck and mire of guilt so we can walk in the sweet fragrance of the forgiven."

I want to be able to dance before the Lord in the glory of His grace and forgiveness. How about you?

Psalm 51
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

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