When my son was little I tried to teach him the value of sincerity when he'd apologize. I also taught him that apologizing was like a promise, a vow to never again offend in the same manner. My mantra for those moments was, "Sorry means that you'll never do it again!" Although my intentions were good, I see now that my mantra was lacking grace.
We fail. Each and every one of us.
"there is none righteous, no not one!" (Romans 3:10)Often we continue to fail. So many times I've gone to bed praying, "Oh, God, I blew it...again! I held negative thoughts toward my husband, I lost my patience with the kids, I forgot to talk to you all day!" Somehow instead of God saying, "Laurie, sorry means you'll never do it again!", I imagine he'd give me a tight squeeze and say, "Child, we'll try again tomorrow." It's amazing that he hasn't given up on me.
Just as God has given me second chances that are smothered in grace and forgiveness, I must give the same to others.
"But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matt.6:15
Oh, Lord, help me be more like you. Fill me with compassion and forgiveness. May I smother others with grace and forgiveness as I loving say, "We'll try again tomorrow."