“Repentance” is one of those Christian buzzwords we hear thrown around often in church circles; however, we may not fully appreciate what it means to repent. Countless times, in both the Old and New Testaments, God calls His people to turn from their wicked ways, their sins, and “repent.”
Oftentimes, we may want to do what’s right; but we just aren’t feeling it. Maybe we don’t believe we’re capable of choosing God’s way; maybe we’ve been entrenched in a behavior or attitude for so long that turning away from it seems impossible.
Here’s the truth, though: The term ‘repent,’ (metanoeo in the Greek) simply means to change your attitude or mind, and go in another direction. It’s simply a mental turn. Repentance is not necessarily a feeling. It’s an action.
What this means is that we can repent anytime and anywhere. We always have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to change your mind and your heart. We may feel like it, or we may have an emotional response; but don’t confuse the emotion with the act. We’ve all seen people cry crocodile tears, only to go back and do the same old thing again. They didn’t repent—they put on a show. They were sad they got caught; but there was no real change.
What is God calling you to repent of in your life right now? He’s not waiting for you to feel like it—honestly, that time may never come. He’s waiting on you to make a decision to change. It’s not by our power—it’s by His power. All we have to do is repent—to turn and walk towards Him. And that’s an option we have at any moment, because of the victory Jesus won for us.
Dr. Derek Grier