The Holiness Of Remorse

O God, you will not scorn….
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me (Psalm 51).

On the scripture  (Jonah 3:1-10) that the people of Nineveh took an honest look at their sinfulness and repented. But did they repent merely to avoid God’s punishment? Or did they actually feel remorse?

When we seek forgiveness only because we feel guilty, we’re repenting for selfish reasons. We’re protecting ourselves from the punishment of God and the disapproval of others. The central focus of our repentance is ourselves.

On the other hand, when we feel remorse, it’s because we care about our relationship with God and we care about those who’ve been affected by our sin. We’re alarmed by the damage we’ve caused. What matters most to us is that others are hurting. We feel deep regret that someone is suffering because of what we’ve done.Read More »