Repentance has become an unpopular topic in the church. We don’t want to be told that we are sinners and we actually have a need to repent. We want to be told that we’re OK We want encouragement, not scolding.
But real repentance isn’t about scolding. Biblical repentance is not a guilt trip. It’s not a whip that we use on ourselves every time we trip up or think about what we’ve done.
The root meaning of repentance is to “change one’s mind”. (Strong’s G3340 – metanoeō) When we come to Christ and receive His forgiveness for our sins, we need to accept that He has a better life for us. We need to turn away from the things that we did that are sinful. Repentance isn’t a confession that clears the plate so we can do it again. It’s a lifestyle that changes our way of thinking so that we don’t want to do those things at all.
It’s hard to live perfectly, but that’s what we’ve been called to do. The good news is that God gives us what we need to do it. He gives us His Holy Spirit. Through His Spirit, we have all the strength and wisdom to live the life we’ve been called for. When we repent, when we change our mind about how we want to live, He gives us the ability to do it. No flogging. No guilt. Repentance turns to breakthrough and victory. It’s people that pour on the guilt, not allowing one who has turned to live victoriously. You don’t need to receive that.
Let God help you to repent, to change your heart and mind in areas that need to be changed. Then let Him fill you with the strength and life and joy that He wants to give you when you do.