Monday, March 20, 2017

What does it mean to Repent?

Repentance is not only a change of mind, but a change in action. In repentance, we are so amazed and happy for what Jesus Christ has done for us, in giving us new life, forgiveness, and eternal hope, that we change our ways, by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

If I have books that I never returned to someone I borrowed them from, I return them. If I have movies or CDs that I burned from the internet without paying for them, I throw them away. If I have clothes that don't belong to me, I return them. If I engaged in watching pornography, I end that. If I smoke cigarettes, I quit. If I drink to excess, I limit my drinking, or quit all together. Drugs obviously, I would need to quit. If I've hurt others, I go to them and apologize and ask how I can make amends. Stolen or pirated software, delete it. Still owe money to others? Pay them back. Accounts in collections? Pay them off (a small monthly amount is fine). 

Engaging in promiscuity? Find resources to learn how to overcome that issue. Do you over-eat? Order a copy of over-eaters anonymous or other Christian counseling workbooks to address that issue. And pray through all of your repentance. It won't happen all at once, its a process over many years. But get started now. Jesus has saved us, so we are very happy to respond with behavior that shows our gratitude and respect for God.

The truth is we've all sold our souls to make ourselves number one in life. Everything can be about me, at least for a little while, but I have to sell my future down the river if I want that. it seems like an easy trade at the time, exalt myself, receive praise about my looks, about my skills, seek in life to make myself important, to show the world that I matter, that I'm a big shot. But it's a big price to pay, my very soul. But when I invert that, and deny myself, and take up my cross, and radically decide to exalt another, my God, I trade a life of luxury and selfishness for a tough life of self denial, self sacrifice, and struggle, fighting my own desire for self importance. But in the end the trade off is eternal life itself. To live forever, and know the One who designed my soul. Ultimately life is all about that, not me.