How do we react when someone catches us in a mistake? Defensive? Who me? Angry? You don’t know what you are talking about? If we are caught in a moral failure, well we don’t call it a moral failure, we call it a peccadillo. David Brooks in his book, The Road to Character, reminds that we need to rediscover the word, sin. Brooks observes, “Today, the word ‘sin’ has lost its power and awesome intensity. It’s used most frequently in the context of fattening desserts” (p. 53). If we are going to rebuild virtue, we need know that we are part of the “crooked timber” of humanity. The way to rebuilding virtue is to travel the road of confession and repentance. St. Paul said it this way,
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
When confronted by our human failing, by our sin, instead of wishing we had not been caught, we need to acknowledge our deeds and to seek redress. This is what St. Paul means “godly sorrow.” Frank admission of our moral failings opens the door to moral reformation and the growth of character our world needs.
Ronald Friesen © 2015