Is Repentance and forgiveness possible for a person like me? Have you ever done something you regret! Wishing if you did things different. Imagining if you could go back and change your past and what happened.
There is more to life than what meets the eyes. We have all made mistakes that we regret. Our error may have cost us a friendship, a job, a relationship, life savings, dignity, and even a life. You want a second chance and possibly make things better.
We have all been there at one time. That feeling inside you knowing something is missing but most times you don’t know where to start and what to do. You have tried every trick in the book in a desire to solve your situation and the darkness you feel within. Sometimes even turning to things like drinking, drugs, sex, partying, excessive eating, even isolation but still nothing seems to fill the void, you still feel empty deep inside.
Steps to getting your life back on track.
Repentance is a generous gift from God, which allows us to erase our improper actions and make things right.
The word of God tells us that no matter how far we stray or how many times we fall away, God will wait for us to return to him through repentance.
While we deeply regret our movement away from God, we should not despair. Rather, we should bear in mind this verse written by King Solomon, the ‘wisest of men,’ in the Book of Ecclesiastes 7:20,
“There is no one So righteous in the world, Who does only good, And does not sin.” Ecclesiastes 7:20
Our goal should be to continually move closer to God, but “Sin” is behavior which causes us to move away from God.
The word most often translated as “sin” in English Bibles is the Hebrew word “Chata’ah” (חֲטָאָה), which means “missing the mark,” as an archer might miss his target when shooting an arrow. Chata’ah is an error, a mistake, or a case of “missing the target.”
There are other words that convey more serious misdeed than chata’ah. One of these words is “pesha” (פֶּשַׁע), a willful transgression done to defy God. This word suggests defiance, rebellion, and a casting off of God’s authority. In most Bibles, pasha is translated as “transgressions” meaning “going beyond the limits” of God’s Instructions.
Another such word is “Avon” (עָוֹן), usually translated as “iniquity” in our bibles. Avon relates to the idea of perversion, or a willful twisting and distorting of the will of God for selfish ends.
1 John 3:4
Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness — indeed, sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4 TLV
‘Repentance’ means to “Return“.
In this context, it means “Return to God” and the behavior needed of us by God.
There are four basic parts to Repentance/Return:
- Leaving the Sin
- Confession Before God
- Acceptance for the Future
Leaving the Sin
Leaving the sin consists of stopping the commission of the sinful act. One cannot do repentance if one continues to do the sin, even if he or she were to perform the next three steps perfectly.
Regret consists in sincerely regretting one’s wrong action. One must be genuinely ashamed and embarrassed over one’s sins.
Confession Before God
Confession before God consists of an oral confession spoken out loud, in which one formulates in words the commitments and attitudes one has reached in his or her heart. One can say, “I have sinned, I have done such and such; I deeply regret my actions, and I declare before God, who knows my innermost thoughts, that I will never do this sin again.”
Acceptance for the Future
Acceptance for the future consists of resolving in one’s heart never to commit the sin ever again.
a). The above steps only work for sins committed against God; for sins committed against other people, one must first ask forgiveness from that person before God will accept the repentance. (Matthew 6:12,14–15, Matthew 18:35, Mark 11:26, Matthew 5:23–24)
This should be a practice by all of us to contact all our families, friends and co-workers to ask for forgiveness for anything we may have done to upset them.
b). These steps are of course only valid if we do repentance after the fact, one cannot say in advance — “I can do this sin, then do repentance later and God will forgive me…” It simply doesn’t work that way. Repentance and grace are not a license to sin.
“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?” (Romans 6:1–2)
On the other hand, …
One should keep in mind that Repentance is an ongoing process that cannot be accomplished overnight. No matter how many times a person may stumble in the process, that person should simply pick themselves up and keep trying to stay on the right path.
What God is really looking for is the sincerity of the effort that a person puts into their Repentance and Return!