Monday, October 17, 2011

Repentance or Sorrow?

Do you find yourself repenting repeatedly for poor eating choices?

Do you declare to eat better in the morning only to repent again that evening?

Maybe your prayer goes something like this: Lord, please forgive me for the poor choices I made today. Help me to eat better tomorrow.

If you find yourself in this cycle of sin, repent, sin, repent, it is possible the prayer is not sincere. When I recognize this cycle in my life and truly analyze my heart, I realize what I meant was something more like this: Lord, tell me what I can get away with eating today with no short-term or long-term ramifications (like heart burn, weight gain, or cancer).

2 Cor. 7:10 states, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."

Let’s examine worldly sorrow versus true repentance.

Sorrow                                           True Repentance

Self-centered                                            God-centered

Focus is on ramifications of choices         Focus is on relationship
                                                                    with God

Desire to look/feel/do better                      Desire to be pure

Motivated by love for self                         Motivated by love for God

Short-lived                                               Long-lasting

Leads to living death                                 Leads to abundant life

Residual regret                                         No regret

No intention of walking away from sin       Includes turning away
                                                                   from sin

Where are you? If you see yourself in the “Sorrow” column, choose today to repent and turn away from your wrong choices. Instead turn to God.