The Super Bowl is upon us. And the Olympics are about to begin. How many times in these settings have we heard about ‘the most underrated’ athlete? Or maybe the most overrated? A very overrated item in our society is regret. Politicians, athletes, and criminals all seem to regret various things. Very few ever seem to move past regret to the underrated Rx society really needs.
Judas betrayed Jesus and regretted what he had done. But his regret went with him until he committed suicide. His regret did not relieve his burden of guilt. In contrast, genuine sorrow was displayed by Peter. Scripture records (Matthew 26:75; Luke 22:62) Peter saw Jesus look at him, remembered Jesus’ prophecy of Peter’s coming denials, and it caused him to weep bitterly. There might be cause to wonder about the depth of Peter’s sorrow if this was all we knew about this incident. But we know Peter had another encounter with Jesus and we know he experienced Jesus’ forgiveness. Forgiveness follows that Rx society seldom mentions but so desperately needs: repentance.
Scripture says there is a Godly sorrow that leads to repentance. This is different from regret. Repentance means turning away from sin; forsaking it. Just like Peter experienced the forgiveness of a loving Savior, people can and must experience it today. Christians must live as the forgiven, letting others know repentance is the gateway to God’s blessings of forgiveness. Unless that happens, people will journey through life regretting whatever lot has been theirs and whatever wrongs they carry. Like Judas, their burden will be greater than they can bear. The most loving thing we can say is, “There is an Rx for what troubles you.” Our message:
Life can be different! Let me tell you how!
That will probably mean explaining repentance to people who have no idea what it is. God thinks it’s worth the time and trouble. Think about it.
Soli Deo Gloria!
(Originally posted February, 2014)