If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
I’m sorry, such simple phrase, and you don’t have to look far to hear it. One little child pushes another one, and they are told to say sorry. Inevitably the child rolls their eyes and grudgingly says a half-hearted, sorry. Forgiveness is a word used all the time in churches, so I wanted to see what biblical forgiveness and being sorry looked like.
A key word used in scripture is repentance. Repentance comes from a Hebrew root word that means to turn around or change direction. Saying the words “sorry” is not what biblical repentance looks like, it instead reflects a change or heart. Flip on the news and you can hear athletes like Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and Johnny Manziel, reading sanitized statements written by lawyers, filled with meaningless niceties about how great their fans are, but often not admitting any fault or regret for their wrong doing, it is not enough just to say sorry. Again biblically repentance is a change of heart. The bible is filled with Good News about grace, but one thing that is not viewed kindly is unrepentant sin. It’s one thing to make a mistake, as broken people we all make mistakes; it’s another thing to sin and make things right.
So the next time you are ready to rattle off a token, I’m sorry, I encourage you to think for a moment about this idea of repentance, of changing direction.