I have been thinking a lot about repentance lately. The role repentance has played in my life. The change my life took when I repented of a certain behavior. The areas that I need to repent. You could say all the facets of repentance.
There is a lot of confusion to what repentance is and isn’t. First of all, repentance doesn’t mean “I’m sorry,” oh, I’ve been sorry for many things, but “my sorry” didn’t change my mind or my heart. This is what Paul refers to as worldly sorrow in 2 Corinthians 7.
In the Greek, repent is the word “metanoia,” which means to change your mind and heart, to turn away from a behavior, to despise your sin1. This is when I must lay down my pride. Pride blinds me to sin. Pride tells me that my behavior is not that bad, everyone does it. I am not to compare myself with anyone. When I compare myself to others, this means my focus is on horizontal relationships. God wants me to focus on my vertical relationship, the one with Him. The relationship that should be paramount in my life.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I know God loves me. He desires to bless me, and this is why He requests my repentance. God is Holy. I think in today’s world, we have forgotten this attribute of God. Holiness is the one characteristic which defines Him the most. God is already aware of my behavior which offends Him. He is asking me to agree with Him in confession and then turn from sin. My repentance will bring His restoring hand into my life. God has my best interest at heart, and when I sin, He knows my sin hurts ME. My sin robs me of peace, joy, and my relationship with Him. It is not that I don’t have a relationship with Him, it is that it has been damaged because of my behavior. We must understand this with our heart, what sins steals, repentance restores.
Lord, please show me where I have offended you. I want to repent for ______. Lord give me a hatred for this behavior in my life. Restore me, Lord to a right relationship with You. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to see who I am, and Who you are. I love you Lord.
1Eugene E. Carpenter and Philip W. Comfort, Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 376.