3/17/13 Freddy about 25
During a refreshing walk at the park today in the cold air and bright sunshine, a young man named Freddy responded to my questions about his beliefs by saying that he assumes it is enough to just mind his business, fulfill his responsibilities by going to work everyday, and trust that God will judge him to be a good person in the end. I gave him a “good person test” – using several of the Ten Commandments to help him better understand his own guilt by God’s standards, rather than by comparison to other people as he was used to doing. “But as long as I learn from my mistakes and tell God I’m sorry about them I figure I should be okay on Judgment Day” he reasoned. I explained how, since Adam and Eve, we all have the knowledge of good and evil. We know right and wrong, we have been given a moral conscience, so we don’t simply make “mistakes” – on the level of getting a math problem wrong – we actually make moral choices of rebellion against God. “And yes, we should be sorry about our sins when we stand before God, but then again, everyone will because we will all see God in all His power and glory and we will know we can’t hide anything from Him.” Freddy agreed that this made sense so I went on - “But then it will be too late to be sorry - now is the time to repent and believe” and I explained just what this meant. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” Freddy later told me “I think it must have been God’s will that you were out walking in the park at the same time I was today.” At first, he’d had that “worldly sorrow” that tries to minimize his sin into “mistakes” and tries to delay repentance until it is too late, but as we talked I could see evidence of the godly sorrow that God wills, the sorrow without regret because it leads to repentance. I pray it also leads to salvation.