Get Out of Jail Free Card

Get Out of Jail Free Card

“Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” - James 4:9-10

Sometimes we do a disservice to ourselves, God, and others by viewing the words “I’m sorry” as a Get Out of Jail Free card. We bandy about the words simply as a way to avoid punishment. It is often us asking for mercy from others without a true penitent heart. We want absolution without an intention of changing actions.

True repentance and remorse should break our hearts. We come face to face with the consequences of our actions and understand fully the punishment that is deserved for those deeds. Remorse should have us mourning the damage we have brought to our relationship with God and the hurt that we have caused others more than the discomfort and inconvenience of being caught.

While God is willing to forgive us, saying that we are sorry does not eliminate all consequences or responsibilities for our actions. Remorse will not remove responsibilities, rather it should drive us to humbly be devoted to our responsibilities. Sometimes thats rebuilding trust, other times its repairing the damage we have caused, make restitution when possible, or any number of other things. True remorse leads us to change our actions and rebuild damaged relationships.