The best apology may not be one you speak but one you live.
God spoke this to my heart this morning as I again approached Him about something I said in a conversation the other day. I say again because in recent weeks I have found myself leaving conversation after conversation with that sinking feeling that I said too much. Sometimes I spoke too much because I was frustrated. Other times I spoke too much because my personality leans toward analyzing and problem solving–even if others do not ask me to analyze a problem solve.
No matter my motivation for saying too much, though, after each conversation I would wrestle with whether or not I should go apologize to the one who had to listen to my words. I would ask God for forgiveness first (because all sin is first and foremost sin against God) and then ask Him if I should go back and make it right. Seriously, it has been a vicious cycle. Speak. Sin. Apologize. Repeat.
Until this morning–when God spoke to me the above. Rather than go back again and again to apologize for saying too much, I should work on ceasing the behavior itself. God’s Word declares, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19). Therefore, instead of continuing to sin, I need to pray for the grace to change. I need to pray as David did: Set a guard, O Lord , over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! (Psalms 141:3). For I must remember, “…out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).
Now why do I share this with you this morning? Well, you you may be like me and find yourself apologizing for a repeated behavior. It could be speaking too much. It could be doing too much. It could be not doing enough. Whatever sin keeps creeping back day after day leading you to seek forgiveness again and again, I encourage you, instead of just seeking forgiveness, seek change as well. Ask God for the grace, wisdom, and strength to change your heart.
Proverbs 4:23 reminds us all to, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” So join me today in choosing change. Let’s allow God to change our hearts as we follow His. Let’s not fall victim to the cycle of sin. Rather, let’s renew our hearts, refresh our minds, and rebuild our lives. Let’s not just say we’re sorry; let’s live it.