Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

by Lindsey Hanekom

Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets.
2 Corinthians 7:10, MSG

I’ve experienced two particular episodes with my children in the past week or so, both of which involved them saying a very simple word: “Sorry.” The first incident involved my five year old son who was playing with a Lego spaceship I’d made, when we played Lego earlier in the week. It wasn’t long after asking me if he could play with it that Kyle came through, crying, and blurting out, “I’m sorry, it was an accident.”

As we sat on the floor, looking at my broken spaceship and Kyle crying into my shoulder, I asked if he thought I’d be angry with him. He acknowledged this was what his tears were mainly about, and I soon reassured him that I wasn’t angry. I knew by agreeing to let him play with my spaceship there was a chance it would break. We continued to cuddle until Kyle’s tears abated and the incident was over.

A few days later, our two year old daughter was playing with Daddy when, through the rough nature of their playing, she accidently bumped him quite hard on his nose. Immediately, Zoe started crying and Johann tried to cuddle her, but she wanted me, not him! I sat her on my knee and explained that, even though it was an accident, she needed to say sorry and give Daddy a cuddle. This situation continued, with each of us gently persuading her that all she had to do was give Daddy a cuddle, and then we could move on. Zoe steadfastly stood looking at Johann with her comfort blanket firmly in her grasp. Eventually, with the help of Kyle, she gave the all-important cuddle and the giggles soon returned and life moved on.

Whilst both of these incidents were accidents, the guilt felt was real and unbelievably powerful for such small children! I learned a lot through those incidents, not least of which is, that it’s our reaction to such happenings which is the most important element!

As children of our Father God, we can be held back in life by the guilt of our wrong-doings, afraid of His reaction, and just thinking we can get by without saying, “Sorry.” The reality is, we can’t move on properly, and we do hold ourselves back, because we misunderstand God’s love. If we expect an angry God, or a God who demands an explanation, or some form of payment, then we can find ourselves locked in an impasse, never really being able to move on.

As this scripture reminds us, regrets of life build up over time and lead to spiritual death. Life comes again as we experience the pain from sinful behaviour, take it to God and allow it to turn our lives around. This is the heart of God for us as children. He patiently waits for us to simply say, “Sorry,” and move on.

Prayer: Father God, I’m sorry that I’ve misunderstood Your love and Your reaction to my wrong behaviour. Please help me to move on from sin in a rightful way by saying sorry and accepting Your gracious love and forgiveness. Amen.

Lindsey Hanekom Lindsey has worked at all of our UK centres over the years and has settled at Ellel Scotland with her husband, Johann and their two young children, Kyle and Zoe. As part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Scotland, Lindsey has a heart for the deeply broken as she oversees the prayer ministry and is an established and passionate teacher with Ellel. In her spare time, Lindsey enjoys the natural world, particularly the ocean, and is trained as a specialist medic to assist stranded and injured marine mammals.


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