Be More Than Sorry

I was mad. I’d gotten after Nate to clean his room multiple times. So, I was relieved when I walked past his room to discover that his clean clothes had been put away, his floor was picked up and his bed was straightened out. But when I went to place something in the bathroom trash, I soon discovered exactly where all of Nate’s trash had gone.

“Are you kidding me?!” I called out loud enough for Nate not to miss.

“What?” he said as he came running from around the corner in his room.

“Is THIS where we put our recycling?”

“Oh,” Nate replied. “Sorry…”

Before I knew it, he reached in front of me, pulled out the empty water bottles and was running down the hall to rectify the situation.

“Be more than sorry,” I called out after him. “Be better!”

I’m constantly trying to adequately communicate to both my boys that saying “I’m sorry”—while it’s important—it’s not enough. You have to be sorry. You have to mean it, not just say it.

“I know…” Nate mumbled as he came stomping back down the hallway.

“But do you? Do you really?” I asked grabbing Nate by the shoulder in order to make eye contact.

“I know you know how to say ‘Sorry,'” I said. “But do you really know how to be sorry?”

After a few minutes of explaining the importance of sincerity and backing up words with actions, I decided to take a long hard look at myself, too. Was I being more than just saying sorry? Was I intentionally being different?

One of my greatest weaknesses is how I deal with stress. I know that God’s perfect rest and Jesus’ easy yoke is ready, available and waiting for me. Yet I do a very poor job of claiming it all. And for that I’m sorry. Of course I want it, but—honestly—my actions don’t reflect this. My heart aches for peace and rest, but my thoughts and choices tell another story. I’m still struggling to let go of worry in exchange for perfect trust in God.

I need to be more than sorry. I need to move from simply saying I have faith to practicing it, too. Experiencing God’s peace is as much a choice as it is a gift.

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
James 2:26 (ESV)