30 September 2014

True Repentance Versus Going Through The Motions

Founders Note: Today on the blog we have are monthly contributor Sophia, she is sharing her heart on this month's theme repentance. You can find out more about Sophia on are about page. 

I feel there is a common misunderstanding when it comes to Christians and repentance.  This is a lesson that I have come to learn myself.  As Christians we know that when we sin we can all rely on the blood of Jesus to redeem us.  That is Christianity 101, but so many of us fail to understand the idea of true repentance. 

I can recall getting into an argument with a family member.  The argument stemmed the idea of sin and repentance.  My family member felt that because we are all human and we are going to sin, then it is pretty much okay with God that we sin.  She also said that as long as we ask for forgiveness our sin is okay, even if we continue to do the sin time and time again. 

Well I have come to beg a differ.  I also think that God would beg a differ too.  You see it is true that we all sin.  But to openly sin every day all day in God’s face and then at the end of the day ask for forgiveness only to do the same sin again the following day is not true repentance.  That is just a way that you are trying to trick God and make Him think that you want to repent when you truly have no intention. 

Let me explain this in detail.  If by chance I am some kleptomaniac and today I decided to steal $1000 worth of stuff from a store.  When I get home, I look at my $1000 worth of merchandise, decorate my home with it, and prepare to wear my stolen shoes the next day to work this may be a problem. 

If at the end of the day, I get on my knees and ask God to forgive me, all the while plotting in my head to steal another $1000 worth of things from another store later in the week, this is not rue repentance, and I am going to tell you why. 

First, true repentance requires one to be sorry for what they have done.  This means that decorating your home with all the things that you have stolen does not mean you are sorry.  It means that you are proud of the sin that you have committed, and you are putting your sin on display. 

Secondly, when you truly repent, you cannot have it in your head that you are going to and commit the same sin the next day, week, month, or even years.  If you repent of a sin knowing you are going to do it again, then what is the point? 

Taking the same scenario of the kleptomaniac true repentance would look something like this.  Instead of decorating your home with the items you have stolen, one may either return the items or donate them.  This is showing God that you are sorry by getting rid of the thing that caused you to sin. Also once you repent to God, you are supposed to have the intention of never doing the same sin again.  It is true that we may slip and fall several times, but you see these slips should not be planned or pre-calculated on our parts. 

Let bring this point into a real life situation.  I love Joyce Meyer.  One day as I was listening to her she admitted to stealing money from a company that she used to work for in her younger years.  She was sorry that she had done this.  But just saying sorry was not enough.  When she had enough money she contacted the company and paid back the money she had stolen.  She paid it back even though it had been years and even though the company had no idea she had even taken the money.  But you see, this is true repentance. 

This is something that I had to learn on my Christian walk.  There were times that I would sin knowing very well that I intended on doing it again.  This may sound silly, but when I was living with my boyfriend and fornicating, I would repent each time afterward, knowing I would do it again.  But this repentance, was just way to cover my tracks in case something happen to me that day and I died.  This way I felt I was on my way to heaven because I had openly repented of all my sins. It took courage for me to understand, say, and admit that to myself.  And with that admission it caused me to change.   

1 John 5:17 states “ All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.”

It takes courage for us to examine each and every part of our lives truly see all of our wrong doings. Think of how many wrongs you do each and every day, and guess what all of it is sin.  But there is good news.  God does not require us to change all of our wrongs in one day.  What He does want us to do, is to be honest with our self and with Him.  He expects us to examine our self, what we do wrong, and make a good honest effort to change it.  Not just say that we are changing and go about doing the same sinful behavior over and over again.  I am convinced this is what God meant when He wants us to repent.  He wants us to mean it and He wants us to change. 

What I am saying is not popular, because it requires a lot of work.  I am still a work in progress  and have worked on myself for years and God willing will have more years in which I will still reflect on my shortcomings and do something about it.  Good for us, that God gives A’s for effort.  But you really need to put forth the effort and not just be fake about it.  Make sense? 

In closing, repentance is something that was given to us by God through Jesus Christ.  But do not disrespect His gift, by going through the motions.  Repent with the intention of changing yourself, and that is the true definition of repentance. 

1 comment:

  1. True words. 2 Cor. 7:9-10 talks about the same thing. A sorrow that leads to repentance and a sorrow that really has no remorse but is sad they got caught in something.

    Thanks for sharing.


"Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24