Repentance and INSANITY !
REPENTANCE and Insanity - doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result!
We can observe insanity today at various levels of society from government to each of us individually, and everything in between.
I have often told the story of Bob and Bubba. They’re in delivery truck and come to a bridge underpass. A sign posted says, “Warning - no trucks over eight feet in height.” Bubba tells Bob to measure the height of the truck. It’s nine feet. As he enters the cab of the truck, he asks Bubba what they should do. The bridge is eight feet in height and the truck is nine feet tall. Bubba looks both directions of the highway and says, “I don’t see a cop anywhere, lets’ go for it.”
Sadly, that’s what we have often done on the road of life. Anyone besides me resemble that? We keep repeating the same thought process and corresponding action patterns, while expecting a different result. Kind of like .. duh!
One of the words that seems to be forgotten today in our Christian vocabulary is the word REPENTANCE. Some view it as a “negative”, but in reality, it’s a POSITIVE that helps us to grow in our relationship with Jesus. It leads to “freedom” in various areas of our life: strongholds, bondages, and dysfunctions. We want to change but leave out repentance in the process.
WHAT does Repentance mean? It literally means a “change of mind.” That change leads to a change of action, which leads to a changed life.
What it DOES NOT mean. It doesn’t mean remorse, or sorrow. The rich young ruler came to Jesus (Luke 18:23) and left sorrowful, but not changed. The Prodigal Son (Luke 15) was more than sorry, he repented and returned to his father resulting in a joyful reunion.
GODLY SORROW leads to repentance and change. WORLDLY SORROW in brief means - I’m sorry, but no change. 2 Corinthians 7: 8 -10
We Repent Enough to be Forgiven, but Not Enough to be CHANGED
Scripture has repentance woven throughout it. Repent, Repentance and Repented are found over 90 times in the Bible. John the Baptist began his ministry with “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus began his public ministry (Matt. 4:17) “Repent of your sins and turn to God….” Peter on the Day of Pentecost (birth of the church) “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God….” Acts 2:38.
WHY is it IMPORTANT? Without repentance, we often REMAIN in the same bondages (fear, anger, guilt, addictions, lust, bitterness, etc.). Jesus said, “And you will know the truth and TRUTH will set you FREE.” The Holy Spirt will bring truth into our lives as we walk with HIM. As we’re confronted with truth, we make a decision. Will we submit to God and change our mind - how we think? Or, will we yawn and continue repeating the same thoughts and actions? Too often, we mentally rationalize by declaring, “I just don’t believe that part of the Bible.” As a result of not repenting, we continue on with an unchanged mind and miss the freedom that truth brings.
Have you ever been in bondage to BITTERNESS? Someone offends us or sins against us. Our natural reaction is too often to get back at them. God’s prescription is to forgive them. Why? It sets us free from that person controlling our thoughts and imagination. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling.
Forgiveness Doesn’t Make You Weak - It Sets You Free
Have you ever been in Bondage to GUILT? The Holy Spirit “convicts” us of our sins, while the enemy “condemns” us. When we confess our sins (1 John 1:9) we find freedom. When we walk in condemnation (Romans 8:1), we miss God’s grace and mercy which leads us to freedom. Jesus said “You’ll know the truth and truth will make you free.” (John 8:32) May I add, “knowing the truth alone” doesn’t give us freedom, but when we believe and APPLY that truth, we find the freedom that Jesus wants for each of us.
To Repent is to Change One’s Attitude Toward SELF, Toward SIN, Toward GOD, Toward CHRIST H. A. Ironside
HOW OFTEN do I need to Repent? We grow little by little, so It’s a daily, weekly and a life-long pattern. Each time we’re confronted with truth, we make a decision: to submit to truth and repent, or simply keep going doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. I’ve resembled that on numerous occasions, how about you?
HOW DO I KNOW in which area of my life to repent? In what area of your life do you need freedom? Perhaps it’s an addiction, challenges with anger, fear or worry. In what area of life do you have bondages? We don’t have to look at others, as we all have areas where we desire more freedom.
What does GOD THINK about the numerous times we haven’t repented. Does He give up on us? God isn’t against us, HE’s FOR US. He wants us to experience freedom in every area of our lives. Most of us struggle with some issues in our life. We’re not saved because we’re good (performance). No, we’re saved by grace that is received by faith.
We’re saved because of HIS KINDNESS. Romans 2:4 says “Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads us to REPENTANCE?”
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see HIS KINDNESS is intended to TURN you from your sin?” NLT
Knowing the truth and implementing the truth into our lives are two different things. It’s like the story of a minister and a soap manufacturer in a large urban area surrounded by poverty. The soap manufacturer said to the minister, “This is why I can’t believe in the Gospel you preach.” The minister replied, “What do you mean?” “Poverty and misery everywhere” he said. After a few minutes, the minister said to the executive of the soap company, “This is why I can’t believe in your soap products.” “What do you mean?” said the executive. “I see filth everywhere: dirty clothes, dirty people, dirty buildings, etc.” said the minister. “You don’t understand preacher. Our products have to be applied before it works.” “So does the Gospel” replied the minister.
May we be honest with HIM and ourselves. As we discover TRUTH, may we seek HIS help in repenting in order that we can walk in the FREEDOM He’s given to each of us.