One evening I invited my teen-age son, David, out for breakfast next morning. That next morning he was ready on time and I was not. David said, “Let’s do it tomorrow; I don’t want to be late for school today.” I said I would hurry, so he waited. At the restaurant, we didn’t have the usual good time that we had on other breakfast dates. Dave kept nervously asking me what time it was. I finally dropped him off at school just before the bell rang. I said offhandedly to him, “Sorry I was late, Son.” David stepped out the passenger door, looked back in at me and said, “Dad, you do it all the time.”
I couldn’t think of anything else all day. When we were both home that evening, we sat down facing each other, and I knew I had to apologize to him. I said, “Dave, I gave you an empty ‘I’m sorry’ this morning. The fact is I was discourteous to you. I told you I would be ready at the same time as you, and I was not. I was wrong. Will you forgive me?” He answered, “Sure, Dad,” as we stood up from our chairs and hugged. We actually became emotionally closer than we would have been if we had done the breakfast on time.
A broken bone that heals properly is stronger than it was before the break! So it is with forgiveness. Honest confession, repentance and forgiveness is an intimate experience. When a father humbles himself to a child he goes up in the esteem of that child. Jesus commended a Roman commander over a hundred troops, for saying, “I myself am a man under authority.” Later a brother of Jesus taught that God resists the proud. I add: and so do kids.