Contrition Over Offenses: Nehemiah 5:12-13
12 )So they said, “We will restore it, and will require nothing from them; we will do as you say.” Then I called the priests, and required an oath from them that they would do according to this promise.
13) Then I shook out the fold of my garment and said, “So may God shake out each man from his house, and from his property, who does not perform this promise. Even thus may he be shaken out and emptied. “And all the assembly said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord. Then the people did according to this promise.
When God’s people have open and honest concern about any wrongdoing or sin they have committed, then working together for God’s Kingdom is effectively done. True, born-again, Holy Spirit filled believers will have hearts quick to repent or be contrite over offenses or sins.
This contrition is not just words of repentance but actions that reflect their repentance. True contrition over sin and true repentance over sin is reflected in actions.
In the parable of the two sons that Jesus tells, a father tells both sons to “Go work in the vineyard”. The first son told his father he would not, but later went into the field anyway. The second son eagerly told his dad he would go work, but he did not go.
Who really did the will of the Father? It would be son one. Even though his words said no, his actions said yes. Preferably, the actions and words would say yes to God, but ultimately it is the actions that reflect true contrition over sin.
As many have said, “Well done is better than well said.”
As all of God’s people build His Kingdom, we should never become a barrier for our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we clearly recognize our obstacles, have compassion for those in trouble in our church, confront the problems and obstacles with clear plans for success, and have honest contrition for our own sin, we are on our way to building together the Kingdom of God.
In November 1994, the Atlantic Monthly told about superstar tenors Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti performing together in Los Angeles. A reporter tried to press the issue of competitiveness between the three men.
“You have to put all of your concentration into opening your heart to the music,” Domingo said. “You can’t be rivals when you’re together making music.”
God can do mighty things through His people working together.