I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about repentance. That word repentance means “Sorrow for any thing done or said; the pain or grief which a person experiences in consequence of the injury or inconvenience produced by his own conduct”.
When I looked up repentance in the 1828 dictionary, it also talked about “legal repentance” which means the pain, regret or affliction which a person feels on account of his past conduct, because it exposes him to punishment. This “fear of punishment” does not always result in a change of life.
However, when true penitence comes (sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God), true change comes and you turn and run away from that sin and run towards God.
Often times, we are simply sorry we got caught which is not true repentance. When true repentance comes, we will see fruit of that repentance because the person’s mindset will change. Their actions will change. They will no longer continue along that path. One who has truly repented will admit their guilt rather than justifying their actions. Justification blames others for their actions. Justification downplays the significance of what they did. This is the way the enemy works. It goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. God gave Eve simple instruction- don’t eat from that tree. The enemy comes along and begins to whisper in her ear. God really didn’t mean that- it’s not that bad. Go ahead- just one bite. The enemy lured her. She justified her actions that one bite really won’t be all that bad. She bought the lie and the consequences were far reaching- throughout all of history even to affect us today. Sound familiar? The enemy’s lies are the same today. Go ahead- it’s really not all that bad. No one will know. God knows and God will always expose sin. There are consequences to sin. For the wages of sin is death- not necessarily a literal death but nonetheless, something will die. Trust dies. Relationships die. Vision dies. Dreams die. The list is endless. The ultimate consequence is separation from God. Sin separates us from God- both here on earth and eternally. Our sin doesn’t just affect us- it is far reaching beyond what we can imagine. Sin causes a ripple effect. Many are affected – even down through the generations just as we see with Adam and Eve.
The danger of justification is that as we speak those lies justifying what we have done, those lies become our own truth. Because of justification in our mind, that sin really isn’t sin at all although it is direct disobedience to the Word of God. This is a very dangerous place to be in because “truth” only comes from the Word of God. We must continually judge our words and actions by the Word of God. If our actions are contrary to the Word of God, it is sin.
So the question today is – are my actions, my behavior and my words lining up with the Word of God? Are there things in my life that I have justified in my mind that are really sin?
Prayer for Today: Search my heart of God, reveal your truth to me so that I might be convicted and repent of my sin and turn and run toward you God. Shine Your light in the deepest part of my heart and soul, expose the dark places so that I may walk in Your ways God. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
2 Corinthians 7:8-10 (NLT) “I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. 9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”