One of my grandchildren had committed an infraction and was not sorry for disobeying. Her mom sent her to bed and said “Tonight you can just go on to bed and I will not be in there to tuck you in, since you are not sorry.” She responded “I’m sorry I’m not sorry.”
Later, upon seeing that she still was not sorry and even disobeyed once more, her mother said, “One more time and I will MAKE you sorry.” This precocious little girl looked very seriously up at her mother and asked “You can MAKE me sorry?”
I can tell you that this little girl is really too smart for her own good. I can also tell you that her normal pattern is obedience and compliance. The reason for her compliance is that she receives consistent and loving discipline. But on this particular night, for reasons unknown, she displayed a little child-sized Illustration of what the scriptures call “presumptuous sin.” It’s doing what I want to do even though I know I am disobeying. It’s doing it without remorse. It’s being sorry I have to experience negative consequences or punishment, but void of any repentance for the commission of the transgression, itself.
Scripture first mentions presumptuous sin in Numbers 15:30ff:
But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the Lord, and he shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him.
Here are some things we can learn from this little “not-sorry” saga.
1. Immediate and true repentance upon recognizing there’s been disobedience in my life will save a lot of pain in my world. I should exhibit the kind of repentance that Simon exhibited in Acts 8.
2. Deceit about repentance (Putting “I’m sorry” in between a bunch of disobedience and stubbornness) is adding sin upon sin and makes for worse eventual consequences. Hebrews 3:13 teaches us that we can be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
3. Sin separates us from the One Who cares for us. The one who keeps us in his bundle of the living (1 Samuel 25:29 ) gives us security even in the darkness when we choose obedience and humility. He “tucks us in.”
4. There is coming a day in which God will, in a sense, “make me sorry” if I choose to persist in sin. The Bible teaches that one day the presumption will be finished. Every knee will bow and every tongues will confess that Jesus is Lord. (Phil. 2:10,11). On that great day when opportunity has escaped all men, there will be no one who can presume upon God. Complete compliance with His will is what is certain on the day of judgment. There is no sense in which any man will not be sorry for persisting in sin. When I come face to face with the authority of God in commandment form, may I remember that one day He will make those who rebel, sorry. But it will be too late, then. I want to go ahead and bow my knee right now.
5. The home is the primary academy for respect training.I’m pretty sure that my little granddaughter “bowed the knee” in the end. I’ve been around for several little contests of the wills in their house and I have never seen her win one of these. She’s learning respect for her parents, which translates into respect for school, civil, and church authorities, which ultimately and foremost prepares her for ultimate submission to divine authority. This little girl is blessed to be learning respect right now!
“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins.”- Psa 19:13