"yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentence." 2 Corinthians 7:9a(NIV)
I've wrote on this subject before, but it is something that seems to often to come up in our lives, either because we are doing something wrong or we are being wronged by someone, especially someone we trusted or loved.
It has been said that we often are hurt the most by those we love the most or that we hurt those we love the most, either way, it's not good to hurt or be hurt by those we love or trusted.
Better yet, what makes the sting of betrayal or hurt even worse is when the guilty party isn't sorry they did anything wrong, they are simply sorry they got caught or sorry so that maybe the effects of their sin won't be as severe on their lives.
We see it in the newspaper, internet, and tv everyday. People getting busted or caught for doing something wrong and many times they've been doing wrong for weeks, months, even years and when they finally get busted, they are suddenly sorry. Why aren't people truly sorry before they get caught? Why don't they take it upon themselves when they feel guilty, know they are wrong, or want to do the right thing go ahead and confess, or make ammends, or make the necessary adjustments before they are caught and forced to lie, deny, justify, make excuses, or continue to try and hide their fault? Or better yet, only when they are caught and have no where else to hide, they suddenly are sorry?
Real sorry, is what Paul talks about in Corinthians. They are confronted with their sin, they acknowledge it, and have Godly sorry, real sorrow for the wrong they have commited, and only then do they repent, seek forgiveness, and make ammends.
That is the difference in fake sorry and real sorry. Fake sorry is sorry I got caught and I'd still be doing it if I hadn't got caught and I may still do it, even though I've been caught. Real sorry is I know I was wrong, I need to change, I hurt people and I need to make ammends, and I need to grow from this.
We are only kidding ourselves and making a mockery out of forgiveness when we are only sorry we got caught and not truly really sorry we sinned, made a mistake, got caught up in greed or arrogant behavior. We all can be guilty of this.
My prayer is for me and you that we will recognize when we wrong others and make it right before anyone has to confront us. My prayer is that when we know we are doing wrong, we will stop, repent, and confess before we get caught. My prayer is that we experience Godly sorry that leads to repentence, and not keep only letting our "sorry" be words.