I still remember the day. I was driving from Cincinnati back to Marysville and I was going down State Route 38 almost to London. When around the curve he came. It was a State Highway Patrol doing his job but man I really didn’t want to see him that day. I was traveling at a slightly elevated rate of speed (very politically correct way of saying I was speeding). And as soon as I saw him I knew it. I felt that feeling we get when we’ve been caught. It’s when the heart jumps into our throat and we just want to vomit. Then it happened, his lights turned on and he did a u-turn right there in the middle of that two lane road. Ugh! I was caught. Remorse set in.
As the officer did the typical officer thing and asked for my driver’s license and registration and proof of insurance my heart was racing and I just wanted to hide. I felt awful! I felt awful not because I was speeding because well let’s be honest, when he let me go with a hefty ticket in hand I was right back at it again. You see I was sorry that I had gotten caught. That’s remorse. It’s the feeling of brokenness that the thing you’ve done a hundred times before, you won’t get away with this time.
This week we talked about remorse and repentance – and why they’re different. If remorse is the awful feeling of being caught, what’s repentance? In its simplest form, repentance is the awful feeling that you did it to begin with followed by a change in behavior and action.
Repentance is turning around and looking up.
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What things in your life do you keep going back to after you’ve been caught and paid your fine? For some is an addiction to alcohol. For others it’s the addiction to the traditions to which we’ve clung. For others is never being content with what we have. For still others it’s the need to always fit in no matter what situation it puts us in. The bible tells us that we need to just repent. We need to turn around and look up.
You see it’s not enough to turn around. We also need to look up because it’s in the looking up that we find the ways of Jesus. His ways are higher than our ways. Take time this week to recognize the sins to which you keep going back and turn from them. Then take a moment and recognize the higher thing God has in store for you. Give this week’s message a listen and see what God might have in store for you if you lived this kind of life.