Excuses or repentance

Posted on August 26, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires, Sanctification, Shaping Influences

boy-regret

Excuses keep us from trusting God, erode human relationships and weaken character. The default mode for the excuse maker is to shift blame instead of looking to God in repentance. Repentance brings hope. Excuses result in frustration and blame-shifting.

This how the Holy Spirit describes the difference.
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

Concealing sins—making excuses—destroys trust in God. But repentance yields mercy and the blessing of God. Listen to yourself. Listen to your children. If you hear responses like these, look for patterns of excuse making:

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be angry.”
“I guess I’m just tired.”
“He was mean to me.”
“If you were just a little nicer, it would be a lot easier.”
“Being inside because of the weather makes me cranky.”
“It wasn’t my fault, I’m just not feeling well.”

These responses are examples of excuses. There is no freedom here, only regret and frustration. However, if repentance is your first response you can be confident of God’s mercy. You don’t have to look for an excuse. You know that your are forgiven and can trust God for help to change. Repentance is the path of freedom.

One definition of repentance is:
“Repentance is changing my mind and turning around to do the right thing.”

Here is a prayer for repentance:
“God, thank you for making repentance possible by sending Jesus to live and die in my place. Thank you that my sin doesn’t separate me from your love. But still, sometimes it is hard to repent, especially when I am stubborn and angry and I just want my own way. Please give me a repentant heart and help me to love you more. In Jesus name, Amen.”

From Get Wisdom! by Ruth Younts.
Teach this prayer to your children. Learn to pray it for yourself.

 

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.