Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Matthew 26: 26
Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.

We can all tell when someone is genuinely sorry for their actions. Our capacity for truly heartfelt remorse is usually held in inverse proportion to our level of pride.

It's true that there are certain situations and certain people we would rather drop dead in front of than to show a crack in our defenses. That may be due to fear of being trampled on and I don't want to minimize this. I've felt this way before and it can be very legitimate.  But generally speaking, we just plain old don't want to show any kind of softness. Pride makes us tough and tough is cool--especially for men (but increasingly true for women as well). The problem with "toughness" is that sooner or later we wake up with a heart of stone.

Let's think about it. Who was more macho than Peter? He was the outspoken leader of the disciples. He was the sword wielding ear chopper in the garden. He was the brave one who stepped out of the boat. He was the one who refused the foot washing. He stood up before thousands of people and courageously preached the gospel. But, though we could call him a "man's man," Peter's heart remained soft. I have come to believe that remorse is one of the most reliable indicators of two things: 1. humility, and 2. a soft, fleshy heart. A heart of flesh is a heart that can feel empathy, remorse, and compassion. It is also true that hearts of stone cannot really love.

One of the promises God made to Israel in the Old Testament is found in the book of Ezekiel. He tells them there will come a day when, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Have you a heart of flesh? Your ability to show remorse is a telltale sign.

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