REGRETS? I’ve had a few. Unlike the famous song, in my case there are far too many to mention. There are still times when I wince at the thought of some of the things I have said or done – whether in moments of anger, ignorance or sheer stupidity – which have taught me difficult lessons.

The most difficult inevitably have been ones where those mistakes have hurt or let down people I love or love me. An essential part of the process of reconciliation that has followed has involved confession and an acknowledgement of the wrong that I have done or the hurt that I have caused.

This week the England cricketer Ollie Robinson had one of those moments when after a day labouring in the field playing in a Test match for England, he appeared before the media to make a statement about past mistakes.

“On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public,” he said. “I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist. I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks. I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable. Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets.”

One of the things I love about the Church is that we are in the business of accepting apologies. At the heart of the Christian faith is Grace, the concept of undeserved merit or favour, given when not owed. It stands at the opposite end of the spiritual scale to Karma, where the sum of a person's actions is viewed as deciding their fate in the future – more commonly understood as what goes around comes around.

But Grace understands and sees the world differently. As a different song puts it: “Grace makes beauty out of ugly things.”

The England Cricket Board has taken the decision to suspend Ollie Robinson and in so doing to make him ineligible for the second Test while it figures out the process of how to respond to his tweets. It’s a tricky process for an organisation under fire for alleged institutional racism from former umpires John Holder and Ismail Dawood, and the experiences of former England batsman Michael Carberry.

The road to justice is a journey that travels through reconciliation by way of repentance, apology and mercy.

Ollie Robinson has recognised his mistakes and apologised for them. In the rightful need for justice is the accompanying consideration of mercy, the compassion and kindness shown to someone whom it is in one's power to punish or harm.

The ECB needs to recognise that there must always be a road to redemption, even for the worst of sinners. In coming to their decision the ECB could do much worse than to recall those words from the Lord’s prayer: “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”