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There's more to repentance than you thought.



I recently made a trip home to Ohio for the holidays and had a wonderful time with my large circle of family and friends. 

Coming home, I was glad to be with my husband, but quickly became dissatisfied with the loneliness of life here in Arizona. What family I do have here are all busy working and involved with families and work of their own. I understand that, but it still leaves me lonely.

All this culminated in a day of whining and feeling sorry for myself. By the end of the day, I was headed to full blown depression, so when my sweet husband walked in from work and asked, "How was your day?" I crumbled. Then, I unloaded on him. Not blaming him, but just venting.

He held me, prayed for me and asked what he could to to help. Short of moving back to Ohio, there was nothing more he could do than what he was already doing. Fortunately, bedtime came soon and rescued him from having to listen to me any further.

The next morning I sat with God in prayer, repenting for wallowing in self-pity and thanking God for the blessings that I have in my life. I had to admit that much of my loneliness was my own fault. I had retired early, often rejected invitations to spend time with friends and spent way too much time on Facebook, telling myself that this interaction with friends and family made up self-imposed isolation and for being away from my Ohio kin. (Yes, kin - country girl here.) 

Anyway, after a good repentance session and feeling forgiveness flow from the Father, I flipped open my Bible and decided to start reading through the New Testament for the New Year. It wasn't long before I came to Matthew 3:8...


"Produce fruit in keeping with repentance."

Oh, boy - that one hit me right between the eyes. Repentance brings forgiveness, however that's not the end of it. We must then begin producing "fruit" that shows that we are truly sorry for our behavior. In other words, change the behavior - turn around and go the other way - stop doing what you were doing that brought you to the point of sin. It's not to earn forgiveness, because that's a free gift from God, but it's behavior that shows you shun sin and embrace godly change.

LOL - God has a way of spelling it out for, ya. You know what I mean?

Your thoughts on this? 

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3 comments:

Nancy said...

was seriously having a conversation last night with my kids about this....saying sorry.....that yes, saying sorry is good, but there needs to be a change. There needs to be evidence that you don't want to do that again. Because sorry should mean, it was wrong, and I don't want to do that any more....Another God "coincidence" that's really confirmation of what he wants to teach. Thanks for sharing and being part of the confirmation for me!

Joy said...

Yep! As always, Jan, you're spurring us on to righteousness by using your life situations to do it. Thanks Girlfriend!

Jan Christiansen said...

Thanks, Nancy & Joy. I just told God this morning that anything he teaches me from his word, I will blog about, because maybe what he shows me will benefit someone else, too. Love the feedback!