A very special bond often exists between a grandson and his grandfather. As grandparents, we may go through life and not realize how profoundly we impact our grandchildren until one day a word is spoken and that which has been held captive in the heart is revealed. One such moment recently brought a proud smile to my husband’s face and wrapped his heart in the bonds of a very special love.
Our grandson was going through some challenging times at school. He got caught up with the wrong crowd and began to emulate some of these unfortunate kids’ vocabulary. A word here and there soon grew to a flurry of text messages with, well you know how kids try to outdo each other.
But, soon his secret was out. Mom learned all about it and confronted him as well as the parents of these so-called friends. You can imagine the look on the other parents’ faces as they, too, checked their son’s phones, revealing the truth. The boys were in trouble.
After taking away the phone and having some deep discussions, our grandson broke down. Not because he had disgraced his mom or dad, but because he suddenly learned he had hurt his grandfather. Once he realized his behavior wounded his grandfather’s heart and deeply grieved him, the tears began to flow and repentance soon followed, complete with verbal and written apologies and distance from his undesirable friends.
Sin must evoke some form of sorrow in order for true repentance. Paul spoke of this specifically in 2 Corinthians 7:10 when he was bringing correction to the church at Corinth. He didn’t want to hurt them or to alienate them, but he knew the need for true godly sorrow.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
Where there is no sorrow, there can be no repentance. When our grandson realized how he had let his grandfather down, the deep love between them became the motivating factor in his true repentance.
This begs the question for us today? How deep is our love relationship with our Father? When we sin and wound His heart, are we truly sorrowful for offending Him and bringing hurt to Him? Are we so moved with sorrow that we repent and work to change our ways? How much do we value the love relationship with our God?
The Holy Spirit continually leads us to examine our hearts much like our daughter examines the children’s cell phones, looking for things that might challenge their well-being, their safety, and their opportunity to grow to be strong in character. Do we resist the Lord’s correction with our attempts to justify our actions? Or do we respond with godly sorrow leading to true repentance?
“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty” (Job 5:17 KJV).
Father, so many times I do wrong and fail to stop and thoroughly contemplate how my actions, or lack thereof, grieve You. You desire good for me. You desire that I be strong and of good character so Your image can readily be seen in me. Forgive me, Father, as I learn to yield to Your correction more readily with the assurance that it is because of Your love that You discipline me. I surrender to Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.