Throughout my life I have had people telling me sorry for one thing or another and over the past year I have heard this so often and many times it is from the same person or the same people who have in the past say they are sorry to me, sorry for being mean, sorry for hurting me, sorry for speaking ill of me, sorry for so many things, some don’t even have a clue what they are saying sorry for, that I have come to take it with a pinch of salt. I guess what I am saying is that where at first I accepted that these people were sorry I now find myself questioning their motive for saying sorry. You see I have encountered and experience a barrage of insult recently from a sister not for the first time because she felt I was a know it all, I was amazed that my eagerness for learning and wanting to know more about Him that called me would produce the kind of onslaught that it did but the reality was it did.. The Sister upon realising others had witness her expressing her thoughts in an angry confrontation without any justification immediately turn around and said she was sorry but of course she did not mean it, she became frightened because she was caught out.
Anyway I felt led to analyse what exactly sorry mean and in so doing I began to look at what it mean to repent because I found the two words sorry and repent of similar meaning. In doing so I realised that there were in fact three Greek words listed in the New Testament that denote or pertain to repentance, two of these words were verb and one a noun. The first of the three word is the verb word Metamelomai meaning to have a change of mind i.e. feeling regretful or remorse on account of being in the wrong but not necessary having a change of heart. So what this is saying is what I pretty much stated earlier when I said people were telling me sorry but did not mean it, yes they were sorry because they were caught, they were sorry because they had being brought in the open but not sorry that they had cause me harm or because they regretted doing it and did not intend doing it again, in fact if they had not being found out or expose them they would not have said sorry. Anyway you probably wondering why I gave you a word for repentance and start to talk about sorry I guess you can say the meaning for both word more or less are so much alike. So the first of the three Greek word is one that we could really use to describe Judas after he betrayed Jesus, he regretted the act of sin but did not necessary have a change of heart Matthew 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed Him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. You see Judas was not sorry for betraying Jesus, rather he was sorry for the outcome of his act of sin, so in other words the sin was okay just the result that he was unhappy with.
Rather, like most of the people who in time have said sorry to me, they really have not truly said sorry for doing what they did, they are only sorry for the result of the action so in other words my heart, my pain or my feelings was of no importance to them.
The Second Greek word is another verb Metanoeo and the third Greek word is a noun Metanoia, these two words can be coupled or cognate together because they derived from the same word in anacestral language and mean to change one’s mind, purpose and life as a result of knowledge to which pardon have been obtained for sin or an offence. Thus we can see these two words portray the true meaning of repentance.
True repentance will bring about a sense of guilt, a realisation of a sinful state and an anticipation of mercy. True repentance is about changing one’s mindset, bringing about true hatred for sin and offences. When one is truly sorry or repentant of one’s action there will be in us a sense of guilt, a need never to repeat the sin or offence. True repentance should lead to a full acceptance of love towards God and a need to live and walk a holy life with God.
Just as the people around me who forever say they are sorry but don’t really mean it , we have people who profess to be believers in Christ who feel it is okay to constantly walk daily in sin, yet true repentance is not an option it is a commandment of God Acts 17:30 and the times of this ignorance God winked at: but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. It is also a requirement from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.Luke 13:3,5 I tell you, nay, but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
My question was what does it mean to say sorry, well to me being sorry mean we have reflected on our action, accepted we have done wrong, we regret the wrong, we feel remorseful, sympathised with the person being wronged and we make recompense for the wrong, that we cause. When we are sorry we come into a sense of guilt and the need to correct the wrong.
And to truly repent means we have come into knowledge of that which is wrong, and this knowledge create in us a desire and a need to change our thinking, our ways and our life, this knowledge cause us to express godly sorrow. It create a feeling of conviction and a sense that we must be corrected, it gives us a real hatred for sin and offences, it bring into subjection evilness and the dark and it leads us into light and truth. To repent means we now forget self and allow God’s control and His will to govern our lives and we are prepared to place God above all else.
Anyway I would like to leave you all with this when you tell someone you are sorry, do you know what it means to be sorry or when you say you have repented, is it just until the next time or do you truly understand what it is to repent.
Written By Angela Doreen 6/1/2012