Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind, playfully and adoringly told Scarlet O’hara, who was then played by Vivien Leigh, “You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.”
In my weakness and foolishness, I most of the time act this way. Crying out loud, feigning repentance not because I was a hundred percent sorry for what I did, let alone sorry that I disobeyed and displeased God; I was sorry because I couldn’t anymore escape the consequences of my actions and I fear the consequences more than the insult I brought upon God through my actions.
I have been asking God for forgiveness not knowing that my heart does not truly desire to make amends with Jesus whom I so offended. I was just so afraid of what my sins entail that I needed to come to God for Him to clean up my mess. How selfish asking for forgiveness can be I didn’t know up until now, when this verse from 2 Corinthians 7:10 was used in today’s message at church:
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret from that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. (NLT)
Even when asking for His forgiveness, we need the grace of God. We need His wisdom to see it His way. Our sorrow and pain have to point us to Him and to the repentance that is fitting for a Savior like Him. I confessed to Jesus that I could not bring myself to change the selfish motivations behind my prayers.
The truth was I just wanted to never suffer the consequences of my sins and then, go on and enjoy the goodness of the remaining days of my life. I want to hate and forsake my sins, I want to turn around, but this desire to change was not driven by love–love that crazily yearns to please God. It was a desire driven by fear now that I’ve seen the consequences.
And so, I asked for God’s mercy. “I’m asking my Father, my Jesus to give me a life that is ALL for Him, wanting to obey Him completely, never wanting to hurt, offend, and insult Him. I want to forsake sin all because I love Him and I fear hurting and disobeying Him more than my sins’ consequences. Father, I don’t want to be one of the lukewarm Christians anymore, who want to go to heaven while in their hearts wishing they can enter it without loving and obeying You. Mercy, O Lord. I beg for Your mercy.” This was how my prayer went as I felt guilt killing my peace and as fear paralyzed me.
Then, as I was looking for a particular verse from Proverbs to share with a friend, I accidentally skimmed through this verse:
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but he whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13
To caught an eye on such a verse that directly answers my prayer is just so amazing. It is God’s mercy and grace working! I don’t deserve this and I know that no matter how hard I work for it, I will never be worthy of so much as to speak His most precious Name. This is His love.This is how much He loves….