By Lorraine Walker
â€œSorryâ€. Do you ever find that the word â€˜sorryâ€™ is a little overused in some areas of life and maybe not used enough in others? Experts say that women tend to use the word sorry more often than men, for reasons I wonâ€™t get into at this point. But we often say weâ€™re sorry about things that have nothing to do with us, or things that we have no control over. In other words, we didnâ€™t cause the bad thing, so how can we be sorry for it? Often itâ€™s just a platitude to express comfort or consolation.
The problem comes when we donâ€™t say weâ€™re sorry when we know we should. Weâ€™ve messed up and we really hope the other person doesnâ€™t notice or perhaps doesnâ€™t realize we did it. We donâ€™t want to â€˜fess up and take responsibility for our actions. Only when we are caught with the unmistakable evidence in front of us are we willing to say we are sorry. And then we are probably only sorry we got caught!
I find myself occasionally doing that with God. Thereâ€™s an area He is showing me where I need to change and yet I hide around the corner from His searchlight, hoping He doesnâ€™t catch me doing something I shouldnâ€™t. Then suddenly Iâ€™m blinded with the light in my face and Iâ€™m ashamed. Like Adam and Eve, I try to cover my â€˜nakednessâ€™ in front of my all-seeing Lord. Then and only then am I saying once again, â€œSorryâ€. And He knows whether I truly am sorry for my disobedience or whether Iâ€™m sorry I got caught.
We often think that the grace provided by God excuses us from living in obedience. The apostle Paul certainly didnâ€™t agree with that and we need to get rid of that tendency. Obedience doesnâ€™t save us, but we are called to a life of obedience because of His great Love.
My Pastor quoted an interesting thought from Dr. Don Simpson, who wrote, â€œThe idea that you can trust Christ for the hereafter but have no intention to obey Him now is an illusion generated by a widespread unbelieving â€˜Christian culture.â€™ In fact, you can no more trust Jesus and not intend to obey Him than you can trust your doctor and not intend to follow his or her advice. If you don’t intend to follow the advice, you simply don’t trust the person.â€ (Revolution of Character: Discovering Christ’s Pattern for Spiritual Transformation, by Dallas Willard and Donald Simpson. NavPress Publishing Group, 2005)
If you donâ€™t want to obey the Lord here it is because of an inherent lack of trust, according to Dr. Simpson. And why would you want to spend eternity with Someone you donâ€™t trust?
It is an interesting look at obedience and another reason why we need to follow the Lord more closely in these end times. Obedience is a huge factor for the Christian, not only in light of eternity, but to keep us close to Jesus in the here and now. I just need to get better at saying, â€œIâ€™m sorryâ€.
Born and raised in southern Ontario, Canada, Lorraine Walker has been interested and involved in Southern Gospel Music since the mid-80â€™s. As part of a ladiesâ€™ trio, she became more familiar with this style of music and the people that made it popular, and began writing occasional articles for a Canadian publication on Southern Gospel.
Known online to her internet friends as â€œCanChikâ€, Lorraine began writing a monthly inspirational article entitled â€œCanChikâ€™s Cornerâ€ for www.johnlanier.com in 2002.Â This column began on www.sgmradio.com in January of 2005, a popular southern gospel music radio and information website which also publishes other features and interviews with her byline.
â€Reality Checkâ€ is a monthly column relating the realities of living every day as child of God. Lorraine welcomes your comments and suggestions, and you can write her at firstname.lastname@example.org