Today: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Sorry, God    (7/1/2012 1)

Tracy Chapman certainly touched a nerve with her 1988 hit Baby Can I hold You:

Is all that you can't say
Years gone by and still
Words don't come easily
Like ‘sorry’, like ‘sorry’

'Forgive me'
Is all that you can't say
Years gone by and still
Words don't come easily
Like 'forgive me, forgive me'

The song must have resonated with many other singers, as more than a dozen cover versions have appeared in the twenty-plus years since it was first released. It was even reprised by Chapman herself in a duet with with Luciano Pavarotti in 2003.

In our short ‘teaspoon’ series on prayer, with the acronym TSP, we come to ‘S’ this week - Sorry.  Saying sorry to God is an indispensable part of a fallible human’s approach to a holy God, but pride does so often get in the way of our being able to admit we were wrong and say ‘sorry’.

When we say sorry to God in our prayer, there are three elements to it that will help us to understand what is going on:

  • Owning up
    This is another way of saying ‘confess’, which is biblical (and legal) word, which means to agree about the facts with someone.

    When we confess to God things we have done that we know have displeased him (‘sin’), we are not telling him something he doesn’t already know, but we are agreeing with him that it was wrong. Owning up, or confessing, to God is an important part of an honest relationship with our heavenly father.
  • Turning away
    But we don’t stop there, with a mere acknowledgement of the facts of the case. We consciously turn away from the wrong, towards the right. The bible calls it ‘repentance’ .

    Our heart is now to please God, so we begin to plan how not to do it again. We ask God to give us the strength to resist the temptation that will come our way in the future, believing that he will.
  •  Moving on
    And when we have confessed and repented, it’s done, dealt with, sorted. The slate has been wiped clean. We can put it behind us and move on. God has already moved on.

    In our human relationships we are apt to remind each other of things we did wrong in the past, at least I am. But God never does that. As far as He is concerned our wrongdoings have gone for ever. As the Psalm says...

    As far as the east is from the west,
     so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

    Psalm 103:12

    Because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for us we  don’t need to be always wallowing in our wrongs, depressed at our failure, or despairing of our ability to please God. We move on..

So when you come in prayer to God, don’t let ‘sorry’ be all that you can’t say. When you have said 'sorry' to God, and turned away from the sin, you can again and again experience the joy and lightness of spirit that comes from knowing you are truly and fully forgiven.

Think about: what do I need to own up to before God? What can I do to avoid making the same mistakes?

Read and ponder: Psalm 103

Pray: Thank you God that you are even more ready to forgive than I am to repent and seek your forgiveness. Help me to really know in my heart that I am forgiven.

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