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Baring your soul before God: True repentance













2 Corinthians 7: 9 Now I am glad—not because it caused you grief but because you were moved to make a permanent change[a] that can happen only with the realization that your actions have gone against God—I’m glad to know you suffered no long-term loss because of what we did.

10 Now this type of deep sorrow, godly sorrow, is not so much about regret; but it is about producing a change of mind and behavior[b] that ultimately leads to salvation. But the other type of sorrow, worldly sorrow, often is fleeting and only brings death.

I’ve been thinking about this post for several days and today my Catholic upbringing came to mind. I remember going to confession and leaving with assigned prayers designed to cover whatever sins I told the priest I had committed. The idea was to come clean and acknowledge my sin in order to be forgiven.

The pattern of sinning, confessing and praying repeated itself throughout most of my life before I actually knew God and by extension, myself. 

It was a fruitless effort that made me feel bad about myself, guilty for my many transgressions and it reinforced my negative view of a God who existed to make me miserable. This is the danger of institutionalizing God without knowing Him.

The other side of this is when we acknowledge that we do know God, but we take that relationship casually. Jesus is our friend, but God is holy and we can’t cross that line into familiarity that removes the sacred.

Is your repentance genuine?
Contrition - sincere penitence or remorse
Attrition – do you have a hidden motive, as in fear of divine punishment or imperfect contrition?

Which of these defines your attitude toward sin? 

Sin is hardly used anymore in our culture. Christians will say they made the wrong choices or had bad attitudes. We use any word, but the one that cuts to the core: SIN.

When you sin do you cover it up with quick prayers or apologies? But what about going before the face of God?
Do you go before God and cry out in contrition?
Do you spend time on your knees praying and asking for forgiveness with true contrition because you know God and you know you have hurt His heart?
Many of us don’t go there. It’s a deep place to go.

But that’s where we must go if we say we love God and know Him.

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Scriptures for life

Compiled December 2011
These are a few of my favorite Scriptures. I cannot live my life without God and his word. I keep a 3x5 wire bound note diary of verses that pop off the pages of my Bibles. This helps me in case I need to comfort someone with a specific verse. Start your own collection!


Comfort

Psalm 119:76 Comfort me with your love, as you promised me, your servant.
Job 4:4 Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand.
Strength

Psalm 18:1 I love you, LORD. You give me strength.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me.
Isaiah 40:29 The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you.
1 Corinthians 15:58 … don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong, all who wait with hope for the LORD, and let your heart be courag…

Sin on the journey

Before I know it, sin drips from my mouth and floods my mind. Oh the struggle.
Romans 7:22-23 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free. 
My current struggle is in not easily recognizing the extent of my sinfulness. I can easily preach it, but continuous righteous living eludes me.
Ouch. It hurts. I reveal this because I love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul, but the sinner in me wins. It's the same struggle the A…