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Sorrow, Regret, and Saying I’m Sorry

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Sometimes in the business of life, we forget the need to be still. To sit quietly and contemplate the things that God has gifted us. Our lives are so jam-packed with activities or electronics that we rarely spend that needed time in seclusion thinking on and recognizing the good things in our lives. In many ways, that is part of what is wrong with American Christianity. An inability to be still and recognize that the life we have been given is far beyond what we deserve. It is those moments where the responsibilities of such gifts weigh heavy upon a person. This weight is not one to cause us more labor, or to cause of harm, but to give us joy. Two verses came into my mind while driving into the office this morning.

 

“The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.” –Proverbs 18:22

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” –Psalms 127:3

 

Reflecting upon these two verses, I came to a crushing recognition. I do not act as if these two people in my life are truly a gift from God. In the everyday of life, forgetting what we have been given can make us bitter, and ungrateful. Learning what it means to be content is then learning that what we have been given truly is more than we deserve. This does not mean that we settle, or that we give up ambition, but it is to say that we learn to live in every moment of everyday. That we live for now, today and not tomorrow. God has gifted me with my wife and my son, two people who make up my world in ways that neither will ever likely understand. It is with these two blessings in mind that I am beginning to recognize a very potent truth.

The jobs we have, our education, the things that we have are not the measure of our lives. How many hours we spend studying the bible every day or how many hours we spend in prayer are not the measure of our faithfulness to Jesus. No, our measure is one far more difficult than that. Our measurement requires intentional relationships where we live out scripture in front of others while giving Christ the glory for every aspect of our lives. Some have huge immaculate houses, weed less lawns, nice cars, nice clothes, and lots of money. To the world this is the measure of success, this is the measure of a life well lived. However, for the Christian the measure of a life lived well is that of the people we have influenced. My wife and I are not the…tidiest of housekeepers; we currently have a deck that is a quarter finished, our garage is full of things that should go into the trash, and our lawn is a weeded mess that makes the neighborhood look far less regal than it would if we were like all the other houses on the block. With all of this said, my wife and I have an abundance of relationships where we love others and pour ourselves into them. We decided long ago, that people were what was important to us…not a job, or a house, or any those other superfluous things. Affecting people, loving them, and showing them whom Jesus is while proclaiming his name, that is what we have been called to do.

It is now that I must make some confessions. I have not always done this well, in fact in many ways I have been far less than what is required of me. I have made decisions that effected the lives of others in negative ways. Making promises that I could not keep, and breaking promises I never should have made. In doing these things, I have left a trail of bodies in my wake. A line of casualties that haunt me consistently prodding me and reminding me of my ineptitude. To those reading this that I have hurt, that I have pained, that I have failed, I am sorry. I cannot even begin to express the sorrow that I feel for failing you. Please know that those that I have failed are constantly in my prayers. That at every opportunity I am praying that God work in your lives. Some of these people are individuals I still have relationships with; some are those who I have hurt so deeply that a relationship with them is close to impossible. To each group my heart breaks for failing you. There is not a day that goes by that I am not mindful of these failures, striving to do better in the future and praying that in my interactions with others that God remind me of those mistakes so that I do not make them again.

People, my friends are the most important blessings, the most wonderful gifts that God grants us. With these blessings however come responsibility. We are to care for those that God has put within our sphere of influence. We are not to use them or abuse them to our advantage, but are called to love them, serve them, and live authentic lives with them. I pray that in your life, when you come to a quiet place, that God shows you what he has shown me. That people are the chief treasures of our lives, and that this is no better shown to us in that a man named Jesus became our friend and gave his life to save us from ourselves. We are to mirror that selflessness every day, allowing it to move and change us as he sees fit. Peace and blessings and as always thank you for reading.

 

With Love in Christ

Justin

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