A thought by Dallas Willard (2014-02-01) from his book, Renovation of the Heart: PuttingOn the Character of Christ (p. 60). NavPress. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Dallas goes on to say, “The person who can harm others and feel no remorse is, indeed, a different kind of person from the one who is sorry. There is little hope for genuine change in one who is without remorse, without the anguish of regret.”
I had an incident this morning that really brought this thought to my mind, I know it was God. I had felt I was wronged and I treated someone unjustly who in no way deserved it. When I had left and started thinking about it I felt remorse and went back to try to find them and ask them for their forgiveness. I couldn’t find them but for sure I asked God to forgive me. What was my right took precedent over another person’s feelings and that is not God’s way for us to live. And I was sorry for what I had done.
So many of us live in the world of our rights. But God asks us to give up our rights and he then gives them back to us as privileges. If we got what we rightly deserved we would be sent to hell because our sins killed Christ. And it is only because of his mercy and his grace that we live today. We should feel deep remorse for what we have done and fall on our knees and ask his forgiveness.
As Dallas says, “Few today have discovered that they have been disastrously wrong and that they cannot change or escape the consequences of it on their own. There is little sense of ‘Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts’ (Isaiah 6: 5, KJV). Yet, without this realization of our utter ruin and without the genuine revisioning and redirecting of our lives, which that bitter realization naturally gives rise to, no clear path to inner transformation can be found. It is psychologically and spiritually impossible. We will steadfastly remain on the throne of our universe, so far as we are concerned, perhaps trying to ‘use a little God’ here and there.”
I need God. I ask his forgiveness and I ask for his mercy and his grace. I want to love people as he loves them. I want to continue to have him do his transforming work in my heart. I give up my rights to him.
So what about you?