Love is wanting to say you’re sorry
"Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil. - JOEL 2:12-13
“Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” went the line in a sappy ‘70s movie, “Love Story.” The heart that really loves is eager to express its sorrow for wounding its beloved.
Above all, the person who loves God passionately knows when he or she has grieved the Spirit of God, and can’t apologize quickly enough. This is the essence of the repentant heart. “Returning” to God with the total heart is evidenced by grieving over the sin that wounded His heart. That’s why God would rather see our tears than our rituals.
The repenting heart is a “returning” heart. Literally, it “re-turns.” Is sees the hurtful direction in which its rebellion takes it, and spins around, moving back to the compassionate Father. Regret can be expressed religiously, but real repentance flows from the weeping heart, one compelled by its deep love to say, “I’m sorry, Lord.”
Recognize the difference between the regretful and repentant heart, and when you ask God for forgiveness, let both your heart and lips say, “I’m sorry.”