It was a nationally televised NFL game. The Miami Dolphins were playing the Los Angeles Rams. The Dolphins head coach, Don Shula, destined to become the winningest coach of all-time, watched the referee make a call against his team, with which he vehemently disagreed.
Shula let the ref know how he felt. He used language that many would consider inappropriate. An open microphone picked up Shula’s words, and millions throughout the country heard him.
The next week, the office of the Miami Dolphins was inundated with letters from fans all over the United States addressed to Don Shula. The fans were letting the coach know how much he had let them down.
Every person whose letter included a return address received a personal apology from Don Shula. He made no excuses. His typical response ran like this, “Thank you for taking time to write. Please accept my apologies for the remarks. I value your respect and will do my best to earn it again.”*
Real repentance is not simply feeling sorry about what we do wrong. Real repentance means being so sorry, we want to cease what we’re doing wrong and make amends for it.
Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets (II Cor. 7:10.) THE MESSAGE
*For further reading, consult EVERYONE’S A COACH by Don Shula and Ken Blanchard and THE DANIEL DILEMMA: THE MORAL MAN IN THE PUBLIC ARENA by Peggy Stanton.