Repentance. A word people often associate with confessing of sins. But it’s more than making admittance. It’s about a change that starts in the mind and turns into action. Action finally becomes a habit and then becomes a way of life.
It’s not about pushing the responsibility away, but admitting and confessing you are wrong and you need change.
But change is hard. And that is why repentance is also an act of dependence. An act of trust. Because in order to change you need help.
Help from Above.
It’s a danger that we believe that God loves us the way we are. God does not love us the way we are. He loves us too much to see us remain the way we are. The prideful, hot temper, argumentative, lustful, anxious, self-gratifying way we are.
So how do we really change in repentance?
Humility is key.
Those who think they would change by changing external factors never do.
One of the most dangerous attitudes a Disciple can take is to go to talk after talk, preaching after preaching, conference meeting after conference meeting, and think that the lessons learn don’t apply to themselves but to others.
Learning more does not make you more holy or righteous. It means nothing if you don’t practice any of it and make others do it. Don’t let it be said of you that you are no different from the Pharisees.
“3. So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them”
When you do only then will you humbly realised how much death to self is really needed.
The moment you humble yourself and say “I’m not perfect the way I am. In fact I’m way off the mark if I live on my own strength” that is the moment the Holy Spirit can begin to work with us to change our ways.
God can work with humble heart but needs to discipline a stubborn one.
As it is said, The word of God is both use for edification, yet correction.
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
But repentance also involves others. Sometimes it’s simply calling a friend for prayer to get help when temptation seems too strong. Other times it’s a confession or an apology for a wrong doing that you may have done to them. There are times it involves you forgiving, and letting go of past hurts and bitterness. Building back the broken bridges of trust that have long been broken. But all in all it involves a lot of humility. The humility to be the first to make amends, and the first to do what it takes to admit wrong or explain to them how you have been hurt. Or even the humility to admit that you need help in certain issues which you are too weak to do alone.
6 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.
So we must always remember to stay connected with our brothers and sisters in Christ and help one another stand strong in the faith, and relationship with Christ.
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