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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: Sore Consequences (No Pun Intended)
By Jan Ross
04/28/07


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“Stephanie, what were you doing in that abandoned house across the street?”

“I’m sorry, Daddy! I won’t go there again … please, Daddy, I’m sorry! I promise I won’t do it again!”

Stephanie got caught. Her father’s instructions regarding the abandoned house were specific and absolute. Stephanie was reminded many times that she was NOT to play near or in the house. She knew better and so did her friends.

It was a creepy old house, perfect bait for kids with a sense of adventure. After old Widow Ferguson died, the health department boarded up the windows and doors; it was scheduled for demolition in just a few weeks. But Stephanie and her friends just couldn’t resist.

Unfortunately, one of Stephanie’s friends fell through the floor and ended in the basement, unconscious, and badly injured. Stephanie ran home to call 9-1-1 praying her mom and dad would somehow never find out. Down deep inside she knew better … mom and dad always seemed to find out what she was doing.

Later that evening when everyone was back home and Stephanie’s friend was stabilized in ICU at the local hospital, her parents confronted her.

The rod of correction physically hurt. But was Stephanie’s sorrow for her disobedience a result of knowing she did wrong and offended her parents? Or was her sorrow because she and her friends got caught?

As Christians, we are drawn to look at our hearts and ask the same thing. Are we sorrowful for our sins because we know they have the potential to bring sore consequences (no pun intended), or are we sorrowful because we know we have offended the heart of God?

“And Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

There is a vast difference between admitting or confessing our sin and feeling true sorrow for our sin.

Exodus 33:4 helps us better understand: “When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn...”

The children of Israel were a very demonstrative people. When they celebrated, they really celebrated! When they mourned, they really mourned! The word “mourn” in this verse speaks explicitly of wailing and lamenting with great sorrow. Why were they mourning? They sinned and God revealed their sin to them.

There are times God reveals to us our sin. We ask the Lord to forgive us but there is no real change of attitude in our hearts, there is no sorrow, there is no lamenting, there is certainly no mourning. In our minds we are satisfied that we’ve repented. But Paul says something altogether different. Godly sorrow brings repentance; he said nothing about simply admitting our wrongdoings.

Repentance can be expressed with sorrowful emotions akin to the extreme wailing and mourning the children of Israel demonstrated. Or, repentance can be expressed with deep regret and sincere sadness for having offended the Lord. Either way, true repentance will reveal a change of heart and behavior.

If we’re honest with ourselves, there have been many times our admissions of wrongdoing have been simply that, acknowledging we did wrong to ease our own conscience. This is not true repentance that reflects Godly sorrow. In light of this, we are led to consider that we may have unconfessed sin our lives because sin without true sorrow is unconfessed sin.

Let’s learn to express true Godly sorrow for our sins. Let’s search our hearts asking the Lord to reveal sins for which we have failed to express true Godly sorrow. As we do, we will have found the path “that leads to salvation and leaves no regret”.

Prayer

Father, there have been many times I have done something I knew to be wrong, casually asked Your forgiveness and never thought another thing of it. Forgive me for not approaching You with heart of true sorrow for offending You. Help me to approach You sincerely and honestly with a heart determined to please You even when I miss the mark. Teach me to mourn; teach me to be truly sorrowful when I offend You with my sin. Wash me and cleanse me so I am able to stand before You pure and free from chains that bind me because of unconfessed sin. Lord, help me quickly recognize when I offend You so I can sincerely repent with true Godly sorrow. In Jesus name and for His glory I pray, amen!


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This article has been read 1111 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 05/04/07
Oh, my - did THIS hit a chord! Excellent example with excellent point well given. This one stung and convicted this reader - as I'm sure it will many others. Wonderfully written with an extremely important biblical truth we all need to remember and follow!
Jacquelyn Horne05/04/07
How true and on the mark. Good pov.
Mo 05/04/07
I especially liked this point: "that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.”
Lynda Schultz 05/05/07
Excellent writing and the message is both timely and timeless. Thank you.
Lynn Mosher05/06/07
Excellent message.
Sheri Gordon05/07/07
A great message -- really gets one thinking. Well written. Your analogy with the disobedient child really works.
Jan Ackerson 05/07/07
One of the best messages this week--very meaningful, and masterfully stated.
Sharlyn Guthrie05/07/07
You are so on-target with this, and there is no mistaking your point. Thanks for giving this reader something to ponder.
Cheri Hardaway 05/08/07
"...we may have unconfessed sin our lives because sin without true sorrow is unconfessed sin." OUCH!

This is a perfect devotional, in every way. You have done a beautiful job.

Blessings, Cheri
Patty Wysong05/09/07
Ouch! A necessary message delivered kindly, even though you didn't pull any punches...There's no escaping from this one. Very well done. (thank you for spelling out the truth!)
Rita Garcia05/09/07
Jan, this is one of my favorites this week! A message in due season, one to be taken to heart!