Monday, January 14, 2013

Choose to Turn

Repentance
1. To feel remorse, contrition, or self-reproach for what one has done or failed to do; be contrite
2. To feel such regret for past conduct as to change one's mind regarding it
3. to make a change for the better as a result of remorse or contrition for one's sins.

Redemption: The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil

I was listening to a sermon the other day that concluded with what I thought was a very powerful statement. The sermon itself was actually on sexual sins, but the pastor ended by stating that the blessing we all have to receive, no matter how many or what kind of sins we have committed, is complete redemption through repentance.

How incredible is that? As Christians, we are given the chance to repent and begin anew.

I often struggle with grasping this concept. After all, although I may genuinely forgive someone for wronging me, it is often difficult for me to completely move past associating any negative feelings or reminders with that individual (maybe this is also a hint that I need to work on my understanding and ability to truly forgive!). I believe that many others share this same problem (and may even struggle to take the first steps to forgive), but that is what makes the gift of redemption so much more powerful, as it is beyond our human capacity to fully understand.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Acts 3:19

I'm a big believer in that "turn" phrase. 

When I was in elementary school I used to have a "friend" who would always say to me, "no offense, but..." and then proceed to insult me. I never really got it - was prefacing the insult with "no offense" supposed to make it not hurt as much? Or did it just make her feel better about putting me down? Regardless, her comments still hurt and her words (positive or negative) came to mean little to me.

We serve a gracious God who will forgive time and time again (just as Christ tells us to do in Luke 17:4), but I also believe that true repentance means that you are striving to turn away from your former sinful ways and follow God's path instead.

How do you make that turn (especially when you are engaging in sinful activities that give you earthly pleasure)? 

Some of the tools I've found helpful are:
     - Getting together with an accountability partner
     - Removing myself completely from tempting situations/people
     - Finding something to replace the sinful activity 
     - prayer, prayer, prayer!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9


1 comment:

  1. I think this is something so many struggle with. Many Christians have no problem accepting the grace of God but forget that true repentance is not just taking the gift but also dying to self and turning from our old sin. We can be forgiven but never receive the full blessings and joy of a child of the Lord because we fail to give up who we were and turn ourselves over completely to being what He wants to make us.

    Hugs,

    Kat

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