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Dare to say you’re sorry

Looking into the mirror is a hard thing to do, both in the natural world and spiritually. We tend to focus on our imperfections. Some people don’t like mirrors because they are afraid of what they’ll see. However, whether we look closely at ourselves or not, who we truly are still exists.

Sometimes, we do things or act certain ways that aren’t Christlike. When we do wrong, the remedy for that is to repent. Repenting, according to Merriam-Webster, means:

“to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life or to feel regret or contrition or to change one’s mind.”

Simply, to repent means to recognize you have done wrong and you are sorry. Then, as proof of your repentance, stop doing wrong, or, better yet, do the opposite.

God says,

“And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”

Luke 19:8

Zacchaeus had a reputation of being a swindler and a sinner. However, when he received Christ his heart, along with his actions, changed. He admitted he’d done wrong by changing his direction and doing right. Moreover, because his heart was so full of gratitude when he met Jesus, he promised to restore four times as much as he stole from any person.

Heartfelt repentance

This is heartfelt repentance. It is a change of heart and attitude that goes beyond mere words. This type of repentance comes from deep within, causing us not only to say we are sorry, but to change our manner of life. In essence, we demonstrate we are sorry.

Unfortunately, for some who profess to be believers in Christ, saying sorry is more of a way to get out of a uncomfortable situation than true repentance. Claiming that someone has to forgive you, because they are a Christian, becomes a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, rather than an opportunity to change their ways.

Such behavior takes advantage of followers of Christ and also of Christ himself. Jesus did not die for us so that we could use His grace to manipulate others. Jesus shed his blood to give us an opportunity to show heartfelt repentance and change our ways. If we simply pretend to repent, we dishonor the Lord who bought us.

Jesus does not condemn us – He protect us

Jesus does not condemn us – He protects us. What He does is point out specific things we do and then gives us the choice to repent and change our behavior. For instance, a person who is a kleptomaniac steals something from a family member, and God says “repent”. That person then returns what they have stolen and asks forgiveness. Then, after they have made restitution, they promise to never do it again. This is heartfelt repentance that means something to God and, more importantly, means something to that person. Making amends to those you wrong, if possible, needs to be more than a private prayer to Jesus.

Be led of His Spirit and repent with wisdom

In conclusion, all things that we do must be led of the Spirit. Each individual mode of repentance needs be led by the Holy Spirit and implemented with God’s wisdom from above. If, after repentance to God, subsequent confession would do more harm than good, you must tread cautiously. It is not a “one size fits all” situation. God will lead you if you are open to hear His voice.

Lastly, only the devil condemns us. Condemnation has no specific remedy, it only tells you that you are a bad person. When God convicts you of a wrong you have done, He always presents a clear way to repent and change your behavior. In the end, our Lord loves us and wants us to experience heartfelt repentance so that can find a way out of it to eternal life.

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey