What does it mean to repent? Do you know? Have you done so? Do you want to repent? Have you found it hard to repent? Are you afraid God is upset at you for needing to repent repeatedly?
Repent is a word we don’t use often in our daily discussions. But just because we don’t use the term doesn’t mean we don’t speak of it. Listen closely to the discussion you have with your family or co-workers and see if you don’t hear repentance being spoken of at least once per day.
The basic Greek interpretation of metanoeo is to change your mind. Jesus and the apostles generally used it to refer to having a change of heart and turning back to God. John the Baptist uses it in the same way in today’s passage. How often do our discussions include saying one person or another needs to make a change for the better?
Yes, we talk about repentance without realizing it. Yet, our world lacks the actual execution of it. In fact, we hear people talking about someone else who needs to change, yet they won’t make the change themselves.
To repent can be difficult for us, but only because we don’t like giving up our desires for someone else’s. Our culture has trained us to think we deserve to have our wants. It has taught us to win at all costs. We have been brainwashed into thinking we are right solely because we think we are right.
Repenting, having a change of heart, turning to God is a choice. It is a choice that brings freedom—true freedom. Our burdens of guilt are lifted. We realize we are free to worship God wherever we are. It opens the communication between us and God. We see God at work in places we didn’t before.
I pray we all decide to turn back to God. I pray we give up our desires for His. I pray each one of us will choose to repent and be free in Jesus Christ. Have a change of heart. Change your mind. Turn to God. Ask for forgiveness. Be free of your burdens. See God at work.
Matthew 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”