Repentance; October 7, 2022

Proverbs 14:9 Fools mock at making amends for sin,
but goodwill is found among the upright.

The NIV attempted to put this into modern cultural context by saying “making amends,” but the Japanese sticks with the original by saying “making a sacrifice.” That makes it more clear that this is an action toward God, who is the ultimate offended party of any sin. It is interesting to see people ridiculing repentance, and to see who does it. Generally it’s people who have a lot to repent of! This gives the feeling of the Old Testament usage of “fool” as someone who is morally deficient. It’s very interesting that such people often think of themselves as “the smartest person in the room.” The human capacity for self-deception is at times amazing! A person who genuinely repents and acknowledges their sin before God is also going to be quick to apologize to the people around them when called for. We are all foolish and ignorant, and recognizing that is the first step toward wisdom. “They offended me so they’ve got to apologize first” is a sign of genuine foolishness!

Like everyone else, I like to feel that I’m right, and I’m quite the expert at self-justification. That’s the major seed of foolishness, by Biblical standards. If I want to be wise, I’ve got to accept that I’m often wrong. I need to be quick to repent, before God and before people. I’ve learned the hard way that self-righteousness is simply self-deception. As the Bible clearly states in several places, all have sinned. (Romans 3:23) I’m not to keep picking at myself, but the moment the Holy Spirit shows me I’ve sinned, I’ve got to admit it, let go of the sin, and change my ways. That’s repentance, and the foundation of wisdom. I would like to be wise in God’s eyes, and a high IQ simply doesn’t cut it. The moment I drift into pride, I have left the path of genuine wisdom. At the same time, ignorance and casual human foolishness are not sin. A side effect of the anesthesia and the pain killers administered to my wife because of her back surgery has been a noticeable confusion and diminished mental capacity. That isn’t sinful, even if it is hard to watch. That’s not something for which she will need to repent! If I judge her and put her down for something over which she has no control, that would be sin on my part.

Father, thank You for this rather pointed Word to me this morning. Thank You for Your incredible grace and patience toward me over the years. Help me indeed repent when called for, and extend Your grace not only to my wife but to everyone around me, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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