Spiritual Formation

The Reality of Repentance

“Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” — Elton John by Captain Stephanie Pavlakis

Love is often easier said than done. Perhaps the hardest part of love is being vulnerable. To love so truly and deeply means to risk not being loved in return, and that can be terrifying. There are few such vulnerable moments as when repenting. To repent is to acknowledge where we have fallen short or made the wrong choice, and to turn back to the Lord. Having to admit that we were wrong is a discipline that requires regular practice and deep humility.

While humans sometimes fail us in their response to our repentance, the Lord never does. In Jeremiah, God speaks to the people of Israel in truth and love, calling them to repent. “‘My wayward children,’ says the LORD, ‘come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts’” (Jeremiah 3:22). Not only does He seek repentance from us, but He offers us healing and direction in return. It’s with this everlasting love that He calls us back to Him again and again (Jeremiah 31:3). 

True repentance changes the way we interact with God and with others. The Lord is calling us in love to return to Him; even when we have wandered off the path or turned completely around, He still calls. But to fully receive and understand and be changed by that love requires a new heart. It requires repentance.

Holiness in the Mess

  • Ask the Lord to reveal sin areas in your life.
  • From a posture of humility and surrender, seek repentance.
  • What should look different in your life now that you have repented of a sin? Do you need to seek the forgiveness of others or plan next action steps?

Steps to Salvation

The Bible states that God loves you and cares for you as a person (John 3:16). Humankind has been separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). God sent His Son as a provision for our salvation through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the dead (Romans 5:8). Doing good deeds is not enough (Ephesians 2:8-9), but receiving the free gift of salvation is (John 1:12).

You can invite Jesus Christ into your life right now by praying something like the following:

Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I need Your forgiveness and grace. I believe that Christ paid the penalty for my sin, and He died in my place, and He rose from the dead. I invite Jesus Christ to come into my life as Savior. Thank You for saving me from my sin and making me Your child. Help me to grow and learn how to serve You. Amen.