For a really long time I wanted to stop sinning in certain areas of my life so I would feel better! Simply put, I didn’t like the consequences of certain sin and how I felt and what happened in my life as a result. My “repentance” was for the most part all about me though perhaps I felt a twinge or two of remorse.
Friend, this isn’t real repentance. Not the kind to which God calls us anyway! I wanted to give up some stuff in my life and make some changes so I WOULD FEEL BETTER! So I COULD BE HAPPY! So I wouldn’t have a “hangover” from my sin!
Genuine godly repentance begins with genuine “godly sorrow.” In other words, we feel truly bad for sinning because we have hurt God’s heart as I heard in someone’s testimony long ago.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the blessings that come with a life of obedience to God, but the starting place is NOT self. It is feeling true remorse over our sins, feeling sincerely bad that we have grieved the Holy Spirit of God, humbling ourselves, turning from our sin and turning to God and His ways.
And let us not simply tell God we’re sorry and seek His forgiveness. Let us wholeheartedly yield ourselves to God, His will, and His ways. Oh, yes! Amen!
“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 NKJV
Please note when we have truly repented – which should begin in the heart – our lives will show forth a true turning to and living for the Lord!