True Repentence

Posted: 2011 09 08 by Chris Goforth in Authentic Man, Biblical manhood, Challenge, Discipleship, Hardcore Christian Men, manhood, masculine, masculinity

I was taught and still believe that repentance means acknowledging a sin in our lives, confessing it and turning from it and not doing it anymore.

Since we all have sin issues in our lives and will until the day we die, it’s just one of the reasons we need God to save us from ourselves.  Most of the time we can try to try with all our might but we just can’t ever seem to overcome our greatest obstacle – ourselves.

There have been countless times in my life where I knew something I did was wrong (lie, cheat, steal).  I would confess those things and ask forgiveness, but at some point I would end up doing those very things again.  There are times I have come before God, actually got down on my knees and cried out to him, crying and sobbing because I knew I had blown it again, I had done those things I knew I had asked for forgiveness of previously.

I wonder if my heart was truly repentant.  Did I really mean what I said when I was crying out, or was it just a way for me to get rid of the guilt, admit I was wrong and move on?  It feels like that’s how our culture is today.  I can go and sin and then confess my sins and ask for forgiveness and go on with my life.  I’ve actually heard “Christians” tell me they will change when they get older, God knows what they mean and he loves them anyway. They have made this a way of life, thinking they are truly following and pursuing holiness with God.  Yet I would say you are missing the mark by miles.

I remember when I moved out here to Portland and really began pursuing God with all my heart.  I opened myself up to him and our relationship grew.  I remember feeling this newness and freshness, calmness and peace I had never really experienced in my life before.  I remember spending hours confessing and cleaning out my life with things I had done when I was younger.  That time was incredible, I remember sitting out on the balcony of my apartment listening to music and just repenting of a life that wans’t sold out to him.

Since that time I have gone back and forth.  I have still struggled with sin issues, some more than others.  What God has really shown me is that with age wisdom has come.  I have really been able to see in those times when I threw out my pathetic prayers all I was really saying was I was sorry I felt bad for what I had done, but I really wasn’t ready to give it up and change my life.

Now that I am older I believe I finally have come to understand true repentance.  I have to tell myself daily I need to die to who I am and say the words I surrender to you.  In those times I feel God poking and prodding me to let go of those areas I haven’t been willing to do so in the past.  The struggle doesn’t seem what it once was.  Each day I feel I must make it right and I must change so that I can walk in it fully. I actually want to give it all up and fully pursue a life that isn’t bogged down by my unrepentant heart. I’m incredibly thankful God hasn’t given up on me and though I haven’t pursued him like I should, he’s still here for me.

  1. jelillie says:

    This is good stuff! Repentance isn’t just a moment it is a lifestyle. It’s not a destination it is a journey. In thirty years of Christianity I haven’t figured out how to walk it perfectly but I have walked it and that has made all the difference. Thank you!

    • Yes you are right on. I wish I had figured it out years ago and spent more of my life living it out. I would be better off than I have been. Appreciate your comments. Thank you.

  2. MenRising says:

    There seems to be a battle of balance. Do we run around with our heads hung low always self-crucifying ourselves for our sins? Conversely, do we run around with our heads held high yelling “forgiven” and live any way we want to? I think the balance is stuck when we realize that there was a penalty paid for every sin we commit. A sinless perfect Savior was nailed to a cross for those sins you claim forgiven. That should be a sobering reminder.

    What’s more, there is a price to be paid no this earth for our sins. David found forgiveness from God, but on earth he still paid a terrible price. The battle that wages will always be with this flesh in one form or another, including the battle for a truly repentant heart.

    • Yes good points. I wish that we could all walk in the forgiveness we have been given when Christ was crucified. If we truly lived in that freedom things would be much different. So often we choose to live in our flesh and that is where the constant battle resides. We still have choices but so often I have been guilty of choosing emotions and flesh than a repentant heart. As I mature and walk in true repentence I am trusting it will look and feel much different.

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