The other night, two of my lovely angel children were arguing, and I was sick of it.
I put an end to it immediately, and one (whom shall remain nameless) turned to me and said “Mom, I was just……..”
Now I’m not a great parent. At all. Many of my many faults lie in parenting. But one thing I have going for me, especially with a house of teenagers, is that I don’t get angry very easily. It takes a LOT to get me angry. Well, his phrase did it, because instead of apologizing, he chose to make an excuse for his behavior.
There went the electronics for the night.
Yesterday was the beginning of Lent. And as a result of thinking of Lent, I’ve also been thinking a lot about repentance. What it means, how often it should be done, what we should repent of, why we should repent. But one thing I forgot to look at is how we should repent.
Halfway through this morning, I paused work and took a short walk (a benefit of working from home). While walking, I got to thinking about repenting, and was actually doing some praying as well.
But then it happened. I caught myself repenting of a sin of attitude, when I literally said to God, “But I was just…….”
Just like a petulant child, I tried to make an excuse to God. A justification. And the sad thing is, I don’t know that I even would have recognized it if I hadn’t just grounded my own child for the exact same words. Wow.
Chastened, I returned home. How often have I said that to God? I don’t know. Good Grief. But I know that it’s not true repentance if I turn around and try to make an “excuse” for my behavior, action, sin.
2nd Chronicles 7:14 says:
There is nothing in that verse that says “and give God and explanation (excuse) for your sin”. No. It clearly says that if we pray and turn away from our sin, God will hear and forgive us.
How tired must we make God with our whining and excuses.
I know I’ll slip and say it again to God, just like I expect my child to slip and say those words to me again. But I hope not, on both occasions. I hope to remember this day and not season and pepper my prayers with excuses for my behavior and sin, but rather offer up complete honesty in my repentance and be able to say “I’m sorry God, please forgive me” without any extra extrapolations.