2 Cor 7:10 “God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.”
When I was about 20 years old, I was working for a corporation that I really enjoyed working at. I enjoy people and enjoy working with people and that was a great asset within my job. I wasn’t saved at that time so I had a lot of worldly junk going on in my life, but so did most around me. Within this corporation, they had a system that allowed you to move around and work various jobs within different departments. It was one of the best benefits of working for this company. If you got tired of working in one area and needed a change, you could look at some of the other jobs posted and the most senior person that bid for it was able to get it. Over my five years there, I think I worked in every department in our location. I had fun getting to know people all over the company. I loved learning the diversity of jobs. The jobs carried different hours and schedules so you could change up your life. It was a great place to work.
I had this natural thing I seemed to do that I wasn’t even aware of but that management seemed to notice. Whenever there was a new person that came on staff, or a person that had transferred into the department I was in at that time, I seemed to reach out and meet and greet them, and help them get oriented to the area and their job. I didn’t think about it. It was just like breathing –I just seemed to do it.
My boss that ran the entire location was someone that had been promoted from within and someone I had worked closely with for over a year. He was about 25 years older than me and became like a big brother. We really enjoyed each others friendship. I was thrilled when he was promoted. Unbeknownst to me, He and other managers had noticed how I worked with other employees and had wanted to move me into management. They felt I was great at working with people and had developed a very broad base of understanding the workings of all the departments.
I had long hair at the time. Not super long but below my collar yet not resting on my shoulders. My friend who had become my boss knew that he was about to ask me to step into management but knew that I’d have to move beyond our friendship to respect his authority. He tested me knowing that if I couldn’t, it would never work out. He asked me to get a haircut cutting my hair above my shirt collar. I had no idea he was thinking about moving me into management. I said “sure” but then didn’t. He asked me two weeks later and I said I would but I didn’t. This went on for a couple of months and it was starting to strain our relationship. He had the right to make me get a haircut but it was rarely enforced anywhere else and I couldn’t figure out why he was picking on me. It was souring our relationship but it was really my fault.
One day he gave me an ultimatum. Get the haircut within two days or be fired. I just couldn’t believe he was serious. I knew that I was well liked by all and that they valued my efforts on the job, so, ignored his request again. Two days later, he fired me. I was absolutely shocked. I couldn’t believe it nor could any one else there. I had to leave the premises and not come back. It sent me in a mental tailspin. I cried. I got mad. I cried more. And then I began to break. I began to look inside my heart and over the entire experience. I wasn’t a Christian at this time, but most people in any crisis end up talking to God whether they admit they believe in Him or not. I could see I had disrespected him amongst the employees with my defiance and attitude of indifference. I was truly sorry.
I went back to him to apologize (with my hair cut short) but it was too late in his eyes. I went to my regional manager who I knew really liked me. I sat down with him, confessed my sins, told him I was sincerely sorry and begged him to give me another chance and give me my job back. He intervened and did.
I sincerely apologized to my boss and let everyone else know my attitude had been wrong. A year later they offered me a transfer and huge promotion for a management job that would have made me the youngest person to ever hold that level of management and responsibility.
Today’s Fresh Manna says “For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.” May people get stuck in the problems they have created because they will not look deep inside, examine their hearts, and own up to their faults. That is the true meaning and intent of having godly sorrow. That is step one. But it can’t stop there. It must lead to repentance – not just trying to get out of trouble or past the problem. Repentance means coming to the recognition of what was wrong with regret and sorrow and then putting on the determination and commitment to change.
I know that when things get tough because of wrong choices and mistakes we’ve made, we want instant turnarounds. God wants to redeem and deliver us but He also wants to make sure we have sincerely learned and turned from the cause of our self-inflicted woes. Isaiah 57:15 says, “The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.