In Acts 3:19 we hear Peter calling to the crowd gathered around the freshly-Holy-Spirit-filled disciples: “Repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, and that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord!”
That word for repentance means to “repent because of an awareness of the sinfulness of your sin” whereas there are other times we read the word ‘repent’ and it means to “feel remorse over the consequence of your sin”. However, every time the greek word is used concerning a “turning away and remorse over the sinfulness of sin”, we see in scripture that it bears eternal fruit.
Most of us have been repenting over the consequences of our sin.
We know our sin hurts our wives because when we confessed it, they did x, y, or z, and so we feel guilty and remorse because we don’t like the way x, y, or z feels to us – so we say “God, I am sorry!” Really, we are saying “God, I don’t like the way that feels to ME, so I am sorry!” It’s still all about YOU in that scenario.
We lose a job because we are caught looking at porn online, so we say “God, I am sorry!” Really, we are reacting to how we feel because we know it was our fleshly lusts that made us lose a good job we would have otherwise kept, and we are sorry for the way it affects us, our family, our integrity etc… it’s all about YOU!
True repentance is where we say “God, I am sorry!” because we have a revelation of the sinfulness of our sin before a Holy God – regardless of the consequences. Sometimes nobody even knows we looked at the porn at work, or that we went here or there and broke a covenant with our eyes or our spouse… yet, we turn with a broken spirit to the Lord because we are aware of the sinfulness of our sin before a Holy God!
It’s not consequence-driven sorrow, but rather offense-to-a-Holy-God-sorrow.
So in this 10-minute segment each day, write down things the Lord brings to mind and cry out for His heart and His perspective so that Godly sorrow would produce eternal fruit. You may want to just ask the Lord for 10-minutes to give you the ‘gift of repentance’. You may need to actively repent for things you know you did wrong.
Listen, it’s not wrong to repent over the consequence of your sin. But there’s a deeper repentance that bears more lasting and eternal fruit that you are invited into! So, start where you are at… and ask the Lord to reveal the more!
- B – be still
- R – repent