I’ve worried about repentance for quite some time now. I sin each and every day and wondered how can I genuinely repent (sincerely regret or have real remorse) when I know / knew that what I did at the time was wrong or sinful. It’s like saying I’m sorry as I put my hand in to the cookie jar. Although I was genuinely remorseful about large / never to be repeated sins I always felt I wouldn’t be honest if I even tried to be remorseful about sins I know I’ll be repeating again.
Last week I decided to have a look at repentance and see if I was missing something. I should point out that I’m not a knowledgeable Christian and I have a terrible memory to boot. I’m trying though and learning things each and every day.
Anyway, it turns out I was missing something and that repentance with a view to being stronger going forward is actually a multi-part process.
Extracting or summarising, from Nancy Missler’s writings (probably incorrectly), I feel the following provides a solid set of processes to follow when I look at the things I’ve done wrong and ask for God’s help in dealing with them.
- Recognise and acknowledge my real thoughts and emotions. Ask God to expose what’s going on in my conscious and unconscious mind.
- Confess ownership of my sin, ask God to take these feelings and follow him instead.
- Forgive openly and fully anyone who has sinned against me.
- Give anything that is not of faith to God so he can deal with it.
- Reading God’s Word and replacing the lies with the truth.
I’ve glossed over the process, the following links from Koinonia house are excellent and insightful and provide the in-depth information you’ll need if you decide to follow a similar process.
This is preceded by an article on recognising self-centered thoughts.