Child #1 “Mommy, she hit me!”
Child #2 “No I didn’t”
Mommy the mediator: “Are you lying?”
Child #2 “No…yes. I hit her but she deserved it because she kept bothering me.”
Mommy with all the answers: “Say you’re sorry.”
Many of you can relate to this dialogue at one time or another. Some of you may have had this very conversation with your children today. Whew…I feel your pain. It’s in these times I’m grateful I never have to be a court judge. Could you imagine the mental stress?
Child #2 “I’m sorry for hitting you.”
Child #1 “You don’t mean it.”
Super Mommy: “Say it like you mean it.”
I recently wrote about apologizing to another individual but what about when we apologize to God? Do you ever find yourself asking for forgiveness from the Lord but it has become such routine that you might not mean it? I recently was asked by a friend, “How repentant are we when we know we’ll end up doing it again? Does God hear our apology when we don’t mean it?” Those were some big questions to be asked and I’m not sure if my answer really helped at the moment. But after pondering it and time in the Word, I was shown the story of Cain and Able.
Cain’s sacrifice fell short and Able’s pleased God. Although, jealousy led to murder, my thought is about the sacrifice itself and the thought behind it. Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t all that great. He didn’t take time and effort and come to God with his absolute best.
But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
My study bible notes say: ‘God was telling Cain if he lived obediently, Cain’s sacrifices would be accepted. If Cain did not live obediently, he could regain a right standing by offering a sin offering.’
Seems to me that we need to bring our absolute best to God. In our offering giving, in our praise, in our living and even in our repentance. Sometimes saying I’m sorry just isn’t enough…we need to mean it.