“It’s not my fault, you raised me!”~~ “Don’t ever apologize!”~~”You owe me!” People often resist being humble. People often resist admitting blame or accepting the consequences for their actions. It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it? People often think that they can make a bad decision and it affects only them but they don’t realize that others around them also have to live with the results. Decisions aren’t just an isolated moment in time, the results of decisions often linger for weeks, and even years….and sometimes….a lifetime!
People often think it’s weak to apologize. People OFTEN want to blame others for their actions when it is them that made the bad choices. Such is life….but it doesn’t have to be that way….Jesus turns this world upside down with wisdom that brings TRUE fulfillment and harmony in life!
Mark 6:12-13 (TNIV)
12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
There are “church words” today people resist because over time Christians have used them to attack rather than to heal. “REPENT” is one of those words. You may consciously or subconsciously “flinch” when you hear the word “repent”, however….let’s put a different face on it. Instead of looking at it as a weapon word (usually used against us or someone else)…..let’s look at it for the way that Jesus meant it when it came off His lips and out of his heart……as a healing word. Indeed, notice that in verse 12 Jesus tells the disciple to preach repentance…..and it is followed in verse 13 with what? “HEALING”!
“Repentance” is simply a change of mind and a change of action in one’s life. It is deciding not to do things that are harmful to us and our relationships…indeed, it is deciding not to sin….and it is deciding to do things that are healthy in our life and relationships…..it is deciding to turn TOWARD God, both in relationship and in applying His wisdom in our life.
Our human condition (indeed our fallen condition), is to be CONFIDENT <as I clench my fist and grit my teeth!>. Our human condition is to be capable and “on top”! <as my mind tells me that “I” am in charge of my destiny because “I” am the most important thing in my life!>.
True faith starts with an old-fashioned exercise in growth and healing…..an experience that is defined by the strongest of healing words….. the word “repent”. Our journey starts with recognizing that our world is on God’s terms not ours. We can allow the great deceiver, Satan, to convince us otherwise. And, of course, when we do allow ourselves to be deceived, to think that the world revolves around us….well….Satan gets exactly what He was deceiving us for…we are drawn AWAY from healing instead of TOWARD true healing in our life.
Have you done things in your life that you know were wrong, maybe you would use the word “sinful” to describe them? These are things that may have seemed “right” at the time (because the world revolved around “you”), but the results of these things were wounding….either to you or to both you and to other people around you.
Here’s is what repentance means: You can’t change your past actions, but you turn from them and start doing what is right.
When I was young I had a girlfriend that I loved with all of my heart. But my world revolved around me, my wants, what I thought were my needs and I simply couldn’t get beyond “me”. She was a casualty of my “me-ness” (and so was I!). While I tried to treat her well, and in many ways I did, I still wounded her (wounded me too, I just didn’t seem to see it).
1. While I couldn’t “correct” my wrongs (and in some cases we can and should!), I could humble myself to admit my wrong and to ask forgiveness. Which I did, and it was over 20 years later….but I did. This was only the first step in the healing process Jesus calls “repentance”.
2. I changed my behavior! I vowed that in my relationships I would respect each person as the unique person they are, to care about their feelings and how they see themselves above “my” wants and needs. This is the second and most important step in this healing process we call “repentance”.
3. The third step was to accept God’s grace and mercy in my life and to share that grace and mercy in action with all those people that cross my path.
Do you want true healing in your life and in your relationships? “Repent”. The Gospel, the Good News of Jesus can only be life changing is we apply the wisdom and allow change in our lives.