….They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me,
‘Come and save us!’ (Jeremiah 2:27 NLT)
Jeremiah was speaking about the fickle nature of Israel of his day. His words should teach us that even our repentance can have a self-serving character to it.
In my early years as a Christians I used to preach at a county jail near my home. I noticed that same prisoners would return and be incarcerated over and over again. I listened to their stories and watched as big crocodile tears rolled down their cheeks. Oh yes, they were sorry. They were upset that they had gotten caught and sad that they were in jail. They were distressed about the consequences of their actions but were they sorry for their sin? I don’t think so. If they were they would have stopped what they were doing that repeatedly landed them back behind bars.
True repentance always starts with God. King David, a man that knew how to take responsibility for his wrongdoings, got it right. Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”….. (2 Samuel 12:13). First and foremost we always sin against a kind and merciful God. The prisoners in this story never grasp that they were rebelling against the reasonable and loving requirements of a God who was only out for their highest good. Therefore, their remorse never brought lasting change to their behavior.
Worldly sorrow is all about us. What is in it for me? Godly sorrow is brokenhearted over what our sin does to a good and kind heavenly Father. One motivation leads to death and the other to life. Let’s save our weeping for true repentance and spare God all those crocodile tears.
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing Email: email@example.com website: https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/