Our classroom was the bathroom today. My youngest son was still snoozing, so I decided to give the eldest a bath in our en-suite. It's a fairly large room with a huge picture window over the tub (which is wonderful, as long as you're not taking a bath at night, when it becomes a movie screen). When the sun shines through the sparkling windows, it is actually a delightful place to get washed up and ready to face the day.
Last week I had done a "spring cleaning" of this room, washing the walls, cleaning the blinds, the windows, etc. Everything has remained sparkling, since the children haven't really had occasion to use our bathroom. However, this morning I was wanting to keep the house quiet and decided to use our bathtub for the big boy. I reminded him that I had done a thorough cleaning and would appreciate no splashing with the toys.
He obliged for the first 5 minutes or so, but as time went on, his memory grew dim. Before I knew it, he was taking his spraying frog and spraying his "pirate" Noah on his Tupperware ark.
"Mac, please don't make sprays or splashes," I reminded him.
"I'm sorry, Mom," was his immediate response.
"Wow," I thought. "He must be understanding how to correct wrongs committed to others."
Before the thought was complete, he was committing the same crime.
"Mac! I thought you said you were sorry." The words poured out of me. And as I uttered them, I realized that his "sorry" meant he was sorry for being caught. He did not realize that his behavior was "offending" his mother.
I proceded to try to explain to him what "I'm sorry" means. Trying to explain that when we say those words, if we truly mean them, we will not commit the offense again.
This has caused me to consider my "sorries" to God. Do I say, "I"m sorry. Please forgive me." Only to go on and commit the offense again? May it not be so. May my confession lead to repentance. Repentance, based on the definition of "to repent": to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life. The amendment of one's life. That means not walking in that particular sinful behavior anymore.
May we understand true repentance. Look at what Paul says to the Corinthians in his second letter, verses 9 and 10, "I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death."
The sorrow of the world says "I'm sorry," but turns to re-offend. It is not genuine. Ultimately it is not sorry. Let us not speak these apologies to our heavenly Father casually, but carefully examine our hearts and turn 180 degrees from those unholy behaviors that occasion our way.