While I like to remind myself that every decision that I’ve made in my life has been used to make me the person I am today, I still have many regrets. There are relationship regrets, professional regrets, travel regrets and even financial regrets.
Every person walking the Earth has some type of regret, but not all have repented of the behavior that have lead to regrets.
The grieving process of repentance is not crying in self-pity. It’s not regrets over loss; nor remorse that our sins have been publicized.
It is very possible to be deeply sorry because of the devastation which sin has wrought into our lives…and yet still not repent. It is possible to be deeply sorry about the devastation which sin has brought into the lives of those around us…and yet still not repent. It’s possible to have anguish over publicized sin…and still not repent.
True repentance is so much more than simply being sorry. It’s more than an apology. It’s more than regret about sin shattering our lives.
True repentance is about a deliberate, conscious turning towards God and away from sinful behaviors and thoughts. It is a commitment to follow God’s will for our lives, not our own will. I’ve heard repentance described as a 180 degree turn…a change in direction. More than that, it’s also a change of attitude and a yielding of our own desires and will.
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” ~Acts 3:19 (NASB)
The act of repentance does not make us worthy…nor does it make us saved. It’s a reflection of the condition of our hearts for God. Once we repent of sinful behavior, God does the converting, the transforming, the changing…and the forgiving.
Sinful behavior and thoughts are like having issues with your back or neck. When you schedule an appointment with a chiropractor for help with your skeleton system, you have a re-alignment and feel “straightened out.” When you turn towards God in order to turn away from sin, He is able to re-align your heart in repentance…you feel “straightened out.”
This week, I’d encourage you to look at your regrets and analyze if repentance is needed.
“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping, and mourning…” ~Joel 2:12 (NASB)