Today, I was meditating on an old-fashioned word nobody wants to hear, including me! It’s a word that bothers so many people, but it doesn’t have to. The word is repent. When we think of repenting, we think of hell, fire, and brimstone, or curses. We think of shame or of feeling guilty. Nobody wants to feel these things, although sometimes they can be beneficial for us to feel.
Allow me to explain. Repent means that wherever you are, you change your direction. Imagine you were going one way, but now you’re moving in the opposite direction. Maybe today, you say, “I need a change in my life.” You haven’t made progress in relationships or spiritual growth. You haven’t accomplished the things that you hoped for. So, perhaps we ought to look at the word repent. Repenting doesn’t have to mean weeping and feeling sorrowful; it can mean something exciting is on the horizon. It means if you find yourself in “a swamp,” and decide it is unproductive, you turn and go the other way. You look past all the trees, alligators, humidity, and mosquitoes and see a bright horizon and a pasture. Now you’ve tapped into hope, a goal, a vision, a direction, and a place to go.
Friend, there are many accomplishments you can achieve to save yourself, but there is nothing you can do to rescue yourself from sin except this: belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. I encourage you today to decide to follow Jesus. You can start over fresh and move in a new direction. You have all the experiences and things you learned along the way, but now in partnership with God. And that is the great news of the Gospel and what makes it so different.