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forgiveness god

We can only repent when God forgives us

Genuine repentance, sincere and fruitful, produces change of mind, attitude and posture. But we are only capable of repentance when God forgives us.

God’s forgiveness is what produces repentance.

The blessing of repentance comes from God. He crushes us, provoking our heart. He knows us, he wants us, and he forgave us through Jesus across time and space.

Yet we are creatures of spacetime and, every time we sin, we need his eternal forgiveness to provoke our repentance.

Repentance is always preceded by divine forgiveness. We have to be crushed by God’s sovereign forgiveness that turns us inside out to surrender. As we surrender, we are transformed.

Our spirit recognizes a sovereignty that comes before any human conclusion. So even those who don’t genuinely believe in God experience repentance. Repentance is God’s power at play.

When we repent, we know that God has forgiven us.

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faith love

Focus on how you can do it right, not on how you are doing it wrong

One of the obstacles for people to live under God’s grace is our paranoid tendency to focus on what we are doing wrong and on ways to fix it ourselves.

Instead what God’s grace allows us to do is to focus on what we can do right.

Once you start focusing on your relationship with God and on loving your neighbour as yourself, which is how God wants us to love him, your choices in life will change.

However, this is the part where the great majority of people, religious and non religious alike, stumble. God’s grace doesn’t free us to be a ‘free run sinner’. It frees us from the weight of our guilt so we can be ‘born again’ and lead a different life.

We still do things wrong under God’s grace. But we are then blessed with repentance, forgiveness and the strength to persevere in wanting to be good regardless of our downfalls.

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love

Truth is about conversion, not confession

This is probably one of the most controversial topics out there, but for anyone who follows Jesus there should be no doubt that if telling the truth to someone is going to do more damage than good, then repentance should take precedence – and the ‘truth’ should be dealt with between you and God only.

What this means in practical terms is that, for instance if you cheat on your significant other, and then repent – there is absolutely no reason to be telling the truth as a way to remediate the situation. By telling the truth you will be causing more damage to the person who was cheated on than if you simply change your ways and don’t do it again.

We certainly have a tendency to seek morality in association with telling the truth, but ultimately morality is not the path to becoming a good person: it is the genuine desire and willingness to act as a good person.

‘Reporting’ your mistakes doesn’t make you a good person. On the other hand, changing your ways so you don’t repeat those same mistakes again is a big step towards becoming a good person.

The reasoning behind this is very simple: God knows what you’ve done. He doesn’t need you tell anyone else what you’ve done. What he wants from you is that you change your ways. Your confession to others will cause them hurt – God doesn’t want us to hurt one another. If you become a faithful person from that moment onwards, that in itself is the ‘truth’ of your conversion – not the so-called ‘truth’ of your confession.