“Do you know how fast you were going?”
Of course I wanted to say “At the moment, Sir, I didn’t even remember my van even had a speedometer. But, I’m sure I was going fast enough to warrant you pulling me over.” But, I restricted my response to “No, sir.”
“64 in a 45.”
That was a kick in the gut.
Are You Sorry?
Two kinds of sorrow: worldly sorrow and godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow says “I’m mad I got caught.“ It ignores the sin and blames the cop or the person who pointed out the fault. It is impotent and devoid of transformative power. Godly sorrow recognizes there was sin involved and deals with it. It says “I’m mad that I sinned.” Inherent in godly sorrow is the vital power to affect change.
Deputy Parker made a point of giving me an epilogue after he gave me my citation: “Mr. Pina, you were very polite. Most people are belligerent and argumentative when I pull them over, but you were very decent… if that makes any difference to you.”
Funny, at the moment, it was a flimsy, cheap, second place trophy. It didn’t make a difference to me I wanted a verbal warning. But, God loves me too much for that. He loves you too much for that. I can’t say that it was me, Mr. I’m-So-Holy who was so polite. I’m rejoicing now in the fact that I could see this evidence of the Holy Spirit doing what my weak flesh wanted nothing to do with: enduring hardship in the knowledge that through this deputy’s actions, I was being chastened by the Father who loves and disciplines me as a dearly loved son. It could have been an accident. It could have been the death of my three toddlers in the backseats or even someone else’s…
“…God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will…
(2 Tim 2:25-26 NASB)”
We’ve had this talk before, haven’t we? “Trials are necessary.” But, every once in a while, don’t we all find ourselves “out of our senses”, doing what is contrary to God’s design for us, and in need of a grant of repentance that leads to the knowledge of truth?
The Pause That Refreshes
Sometimes bad things happen just because we live in a Genesis 3 world and are stalked by an enemy who hates us because of his hatred for Him who created us in His image. But, for the blood bought, born again believer in Christ, abiding in Christ will have its challenges, hardships, and curve balls. Today, consider something you’re doing that would make you sorry if you got caught and ask this: “would I be angry if I got caught… or thankful?”
Sin is heavy and its consequences are a great burden. The knowledge of truth helps us experience the relief of its weight. It can set us free from an enemy who holds us captive to do his will. It is only by grace given. Godly sorrow is the thumbprint of God on our souls. A right attitude toward God and proper perspective that He truly wants good for us changes our attitude toward sin and leads us away from weak, worldly sorrow.
Pause for a moment in your next or current affliction. Pray today that God catches you in whatever sin has you snared and beg for a shift away from worldly sorrow and toward godly sorrow. It is available. It is necessary, fruitful, and it is… a gift… by grace.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He open your eyes to the places where you are being held captive by the enemy and set you free by the knowledge of truth.