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Repentance 101

I have been challenged recently that I’m not repentant enough in my walk with God. Sometimes I find it too easy to just say a blanket ‘Sorry for all the bad things I’ve done’ without really thinking about it. But I want to be better at being honest with God about specific areas of struggle and allow the Holy Spirit to change me to be more Christlike.

I searched for some stuff to help and couldn’t really find any step-by-step prompts that I could work through every day, so I decided to write my own:

1. Recognise that unconfessed sin damages your relationship with God.

Ask God to draw you nearer to him and enable you to be honest with him.

How happy is the man the LORD does not charge with sin, and in whose spirit is no deceit! (Psalm 32: 2)

When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. (Psalm 32: 3–4)

2. Think back over the day and ask God to bring to mind things to repent of

They may be:
• Words
• Thoughts / attitudes
• Actions
• Habits
• Opportunities missed / things undone

3. Name each one specifically and confess it to God, asking for his forgiveness

I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” (Psalm 32: 5a)

4. If there’s anyone you need to apologise to, do it

Face to face is best if possible. Own up to things you’ve done wrong and ask for their forgiveness so that the relationship can be restored.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5: 16)

Likewise, when someone comes and apologises to you, be quick to extend grace and forgive them.

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11: 25)

5. Know that Christ has fully paid for your sins and that you are fully forgiven.

You took away the guilt of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you at a time when you may be found. When the great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. (Psalm 32: 5b–7)

Ask God about specific steps you can take to change your attitudes and behaviour. Recognise that you can’t do this alone, fully surrender to God and invite the Holy Spirit to transform you into the likeness of Christ.

This blog was originally posted on Anne Witton’s website here.


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