Sunday, August 12, 2018


Recently, someone asked my husband and I how a person can make things right when they've really wronged another person. Their question got me thinking about what I need personally when someone wrongs me in order to feel that their apology, their repentance for what they did, is sincere. My train of thought led me to thinking about what true, sincere repentance toward God looks like. I realized it's really quite simple-as simple as three little words.

"You are right." Have you ever had a person give you a backhanded apology. For example, "Please forgive me, but you made me lose my temper when you _________." What they are doing is excusing their wrong behavior rather than sincerely apologizing. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the one and only thing in all of the garden that God had forbidden them to do, Adam tried the whole blame shifting thing, too. "And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate." (Genesis 3:12) In other words, "God, the trouble all started with that woman you gave me" was Adam's excuse. True repentance to God doesn't make excuses. It accepts that He is right, His ways are right, and He knows best. 

"I was wrong." Because all of God's ways are right and all of His judgments are good and true, when we go against His ways and His words we are in the wrong. Sincere repentance is being gut level honest enough to admit it. Our prayer of repentance doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to include hours of verbal self-flagellation. It just needs to be honest and sincere. "I did it. I was wrong. Please forgive me."  Thank God that He promises to respond with these beautiful words, "I forgive you." - If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. 1 John 1:9 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

Sincere repentance also involves a desire to change, a desire to turn away from the things we do that hurt God's heart and that hurt His good plan for our lives. We all know, however, that change doesn't come easy. True and lasting change comes from the inside out, from the transformation that comes as we renew our mind with the truth of God's Word and allow God's Spirit to have His way in us. "Please help me. I need you." is a simple prayer but powerful prayer that should be continually in our thoughts and on our lips. Living a life of repentance isn't just honest confession of sin, it's also realizing that continual dependency on God is the only hope we have of walking in victory over the sins that so easily trip us up. God will never resent or deny our confession of sin and requests for forgiveness nor our requests for His help. He is boundlessly forgiving, merciful and gracious and ever willing and eager to help us to walk in wholeness and victory.

still following,

1 comment:

  1. Love this post. It often turns into a case of forgiving someone but distancing yourself from them because though they apologize they do not truly acknowledge what they did wrong.


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