Last time we looked at the phrase, “turn from their wicked ways” and we saw that we all are confronted daily by evil desires and wicked ways.
God says we must turn from these ways. The Biblical word for turn is repent. Some Christians feel that it is good enough to decide to stop doing the wrong sinful activity.
But the reality is that this is not enough. There needs to be a time of deep repentance. We have three “R’s” in correcting sinful behavior. We firstly need to remember what we have done, the Holy Spirit helps us by convicting us of our sin. Secondly, we have to repent of that sin, and finally we need to return to God with humility of heart.
There are many portions of the Bible that speak to this process, for example;
Jeremiah 15:19a; “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me….”
Mark 6:12; “They went out and preached that people should repent.”
Acts 2:38; “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Repentance is one of the most misunderstood words in the Christian terminology. Most people think it is a feeling of sorry for the wrong things we have done. But the Greek word for repentance is “metanoia”, which means a complete change of mind. It is good to feel regret and sorry for our sins, but that is the result and outcome of repentance and not the source of it.
Repentance is best described as turning in the opposite direction, a complete change in behavior and speech.
We must not wait to feel sorry for our wrong actions in order to repent. Sometimes we are simply sorry we got caught!
Rather, repentance must come first and then our emotions and feelings are impacted.
Our emotions are not to be our guide. There are many things that affect our emotions and we need to be careful to not let our emotions and feelings drive our decisions.