#TreasuredTruth #98Of366 #RawderKidulaKedaha
There are times I have told my husband ‘sorry’ because I want the argument to end. I don’t mean it, I still believe in my heart that I was right. Maybe still offended and angry, but I say ‘sorry’ anyway because I am tired of the topic of discussion. At first he used to think it was a genuine sorry, but after some time he knows the meaning behind every one worded answer I give. I have heard of cases where people have apologized because they got caught, not necessarily for what they did. They shed crocodile tears, roll down, buy gifts and sound really apologetic but in reality, it is just an act. Sometimes it works, and at times it doesn’t. With our human eyes, it is very hard to establish whether one is really sorry. That is why in most relationships, we demand change of behavior as proof.
I have been studying minor Prophets and right my eyes are on Joel. We all need to know that minor does not mean unimportant. Joel brings such a powerful message of repentance. He teaches us what true repentance is. Many times we tell God to forgive us, some of us ask for forgiveness daily. But do we really mean it? When God says ‘repent and return to me’ He does not mean, tear down your clothes, cry and roll on the ground. He does not want to see gymnastics to prove that you are sorry. He wants to see a change of heart, a change of behavior. That is true repentance. When you are sorry, you regret doing it so much that you would not want to go back. You are willing to change your ways because sin hurts.
Joel says “Rend your hearts, not your garments” because total repentance means returning to God fully, not just a percentage, and that takes more than rendering garments. It takes more than saying ‘I’m sorry’ it takes full commitment and surrender. Remember ‘the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.’ (2 Chronicles 16:9) When you are fully committed, God gives you strength to overcome sin and temptation. Anyone can act religious and practice ‘formal worship’ but very few are authentic and desperate for God. Tearing clothes doesn’t hurt much; in fact torn clothes are now fashionable. On the other hand, repenting with a torn heart hurts because we let go of things we held on tightly, we lay our hearts bear before God and He cleanses us from the inside out.
You have been saying sorry, you have been crying and begging for forgiveness; that is good. But is there something you need to change in your heart? Has your behavior changed? Are you fully committed to God? Or is the ‘sorry’ a way of trying to manipulate Him to give you what you need? Do not take God’s mercies for granted. Repent while you still have time. It is time to let go of every form of ungodliness, return to God, He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. He will save you from sin if you call unto Him sincerely.
Return to God fully. Rend your heart.