What’s to Confess – Repent!
Key Bible Verse: “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” – Matthew 3:8
Bonus Reading: Luke 3:10-14
Contrary to the popular imagination, the word repent stands for a very healthy idea. To repent means to change one’s mind, to turn around and go in a different direction, to start thinking and living differently.
“The first step toward God is a step away from the lies of the world,” says Eugene Peterson in his classic A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. “It is a renunciation of the lies we have been told about ourselves and our neighbors and our universe.” The biblical word to describe this process is repentance. “It is always and everywhere the first word in the Christian life.”
Repentance isn’t so much an emotion or feeling sorry, though it does include that. Instead, as Peterson puts it, “it is deciding that you have been told a pack of lies about yourself. And it is deciding that God in Jesus Christ is telling you the truth. Repentance is a realization that what God wants from you and what you want from God are not going to be achieved by doing the same old things, thinking the same old thoughts.”
So one of the first lies we must renounce is that repentance is outdated or irrelevant.
—Mark Galli in Jesus Mean and Wild
My Response: A “same old” thought or action I need to abandon is …
Thought to Apply: Repentance means to change your way of living. It means to change your mind. You are going in one direction in your life, but then you turn and go in another direction. —Billy Graham (evangelist)
Adapted from Jesus Mean and Wild (Baker, 2006)