It is impossible for a man to be freed from the habit of sin before he hates it, just as it is impossible to receive forgiveness before confessing his trespasses… -Ignatius
Repentance isn’t simply remorse over a sin or wrongdoing. That kind of repentance would only leave us defeated and discouraged –could we ever make it right? We are left to carry the guilt of our own sin, and we drag the guilt with us until its weight pulls us down. That is worldly repentance –it doesn’t free us. It is nothing but remorse and regret for the consequences of our action. It has no redeeming qualities; it only puts us under the burden of our guilt. Guilt can never bring us to true repentance. Only the light of God’s word can produce true repentance.
A godly repentance is sorrowful, yes, but one with hope. It leads us to accept grace, to accept forgiveness that is not on our own terms, and it frees us and allows us to move forward. There is no deception here, no blameshifting and there is healing from the past.
Today, I am beginning to understand just what it truly means to repent over one’s sin. If we keep doing that which we call ‘sin’, if we confess and feel bad because of what we’ve done, and yet we find ourselves again in the same situation like before, then what we have been doing all this time isn’t really repentance. Repentance involves a complete turnaround from sin and going back to God; it’s hating that sin, turning away from it 180 degrees, saying NO and NO only. We shouldn’t be going back to our old ways –that’s the point. If we do, either we’re stubborn and deliberately disobeying God, or we really didn’t repent at all. It’s one of the many black and white areas that involve change –either you want to change, or not at all. And it involves a deliberate and conscious decision to stop sinning at all cost.
Could I ever make it right? Will I ever stop? These are the questions that have been flooding my mind since last night. If I look at my actions and focus on the wrong that I have done, I know I cannot stop –my past would always haunt me. I will never feel or know I’m forgiven because a cloud of doubt covers me. But if I look towards hope –the hope of redemption, vindication, forgiveness, grace, restoration and love, then I have every reason to heed the call of repentance.
My discipler in Church ate Anne used to tell me, if your concept of sin is separation from God, you will take sin seriously, for who wants to be separated from God?
It is for me –the sinner, the one who is separated.
Could I ever make it right? Jesus can, if I would only let him.Will I ever stop? With true repentance, yes. That’s the hope I’m holding on to.
Men tell us in these days that sin is what you think it is. Well, it is not. Sin is what God thinks it is. You may think according to your own conscience. God thinks according to His. -John G. Lake
It is perilously easy to have amazing sympathy with God’s truth and remain in sin.– Oswald Chambers