THERE seems to have been a long line of politicians stepping forward to say ‘sorry’ over the issue of expenses. The trouble is, the word starts to devalue the more it is heard.
It is true that ‘sorry’ can mean little or nothing. However, it can be an important stepping stone. The New Testament says, Godly sorrow is of value because it leads to repentance and repentance to salvation.
In other words, if someone is truly sorry, then the proof will be evident in a turn around of their actions. Such a change of mind won’t be because the individual doesn’t wish to get caught out again, having their pride hurt or being exposed to shame. Instead they will want to turn from wrong simply because it is wrong.
Whilst public anger and dismay is understandable, it needs to be tempered with the thought, ‘How would I fare if all of my dealings were held up for scrutiny?’
Israel’s one-time leader, King David, also exploited his high office for personal gratification. Beyond the public’s gaze, he committed adultery with Bathsheba who became pregnant. He then worked it so that Bathsheba’s soldier husband, Uriah, was sent home on leave. That way everyone, including Uriah, would assume that he was the father. But Uriah didn’t actually go home, so David craftily manoeuvred things on the battlefront to virtually guarantee Uriah’s death, leaving the king free to take Bathsheba as his wife.
Afterwards, David knew Godly sorrow for he came to realise that his sin was not first and foremost against Uriah, nor Bathsheba but rather against God himself. As mentioned earlier, Godly sorrow leads to repentance and this on to salvation. That was David’s experience; it can be so for our politicians and us too.
Stephen Richards, Shirley Baptist Church