2 Corinthians 7-8, Psalm 2
When we are caught doing something wrong, most of us will apologize. Sometimes those apologies are sincere and from the heart, other times they are said to deflect or because it is the only "right" thing to do. About 7 years ago when Richard Blumenthal was running for U.S. Senate in Connecticut, he blatantly lied before a group of veterans about his time fighting in the Vietnam War and how he felt on his return with those who didn't go, spitting in his face, etc. Only to have it uncovered that he never went to war, that pursuing his college career he was excused. In his apology, he said he apologized if he misspoke. Many a criminal once found guilty stands before the jury and family and feigns sorrow to soften their sentence. I remember when my kids were younger, when caught, their apologies were said to reduce their punishment. I often would prolong these sessions with my children hoping to see a glimmer of true repentance for their own good and growth.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 7:8-10, "For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for awhile. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you we're made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death." Repentance is more of an action than an emotion. It's not just feeling bad or guilty, but reversing direction. The result being instead of following our own natural direction, we choose to follow His direction as outlined in a His Word. This result will give eventual peace to our lives.
I explained to my children that when I go through life I try to envision Jesus holding my right hand and my wife and my children holding my left hand. This means that I bring all of them everywhere, there is never any hiding from Jesus. In Psalm 139, David offers a beautiful presentation of how impossible it is to hide from God. In Ps 139:1-2, he says, "O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off." In verse 7, he says, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?" When David sinned greatly against Bathsheba and Uriah, he said in Psalm 51:3-4, "For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in your sight...". The reality is as long as we walk this earth we will continue to sin, for we can never forget that we are sinners saved by grace. But during this process called life if we keep Christ at our forefront, this life of sinning and repenting will enable us to become more and more like the only perfect One to walk this earth, Jesus Christ, Himself. So we should try to remember there is really no such thing as a secret sin, even if not publicly revealed, because every action is seen by God. We can't hide.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: