Returning to college as a mom of a preteen and teenager was difficult at best. Suffering from migraine headaches, I’m placed on extended medical leave from the hospital I worked at as a business office clerk. The Department of Rehabilitation was willing to retrain me since the hospital for me any longer. What I discover upon returning to school, I’m needing to succeed as I felt like a failure. Once I completed the training as a medical assistant my husband suffered a major back injury so I continued my education and I pursed my nursing degree. I graduate with an Associate Degree in nursing 1989. The only result of college, children, and being married was that I placed my relationship with the Lord on the back burner.
The fourth characteristic of a born-again believer is contrition or being contrite. Definition of contrite. : feeling or showing sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming. According to the International Bible Encyclopedia, “A contrite heart is one in which the natural pride and self-sufficiency have been completely humbled by the consciousness of guilt.” Jesus tells us in Luke 18: 10-14 of a parable between a Pharisee and a tax collector, the Pharisee declares himself humble but the tax collector can barely pray because he knows he is a sinner.
“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ Luke 18: 13 NIV
Beloved, he calls himself the sinner. What sins do you need to confess? In 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Jesus declares the tax collector the humble, contrite man as we read in Luke 18: 14, “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Graduating from college in 1989 with my Associates Degree fulfilled the pride of the Pharisee in me. I started back to school in 1984 humbled needing to succeed but somewhere along the way, I left my love of God. You see beloved, I worked my way through the last year of nursing school to leave my husband. DIVORCE was my plan and I was sure it was blessed by God. Hate for my husband pulsed through my veins and motivated me to go through each day. As soon as I graduated I went to work as a nurse. My first job was three weeks on days and one week on nights. I separated from my husband. Beloved, God did not leave me on this road. I stayed on this path only four months. I became contrite and humble and reunite with my husband. More importantly, I drew near to God and He drew near to me. I claimed every promise on forgiveness I could claim. He restored my marriage, my family and he gave me a new love for my husband. We have been married forty-seven years. He is my friend. I do believe God will restore love through forgiveness. Is there someone you need to forgive?
[Tweet “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” James 4:8]
Beloved, the fourth characteristic of a born-again believer is contrite. What do you need to do to add this to your life?
Father God, thank you that I can come to your throne of grace, humble and contrite. There are many examples of this in your word. Thank you that through forgiveness we can have peace that only you can give us. Lord, I pray for the woman who her marriage may need to be restored that she will come to you and trust you with her marriage and will try one more time. Lord, I uplift that mom that is in college, keep her close to you. I ask this in your Jesus’ name. Amen.
This post is part of a 31 day series on the Characteristics of a Believer. I am so glad that you are here. To read all of the posts in this series, click here.