Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Self-pity is not the same as repentance.

I think it's easy to see our chronic sin problems as pests and nothing more. When they buzz in our faces, showing themselves for what they are, we swat them away and feel sorry for ourselves that we have to deal with them.

For instance, I've had the following thought: "It's unfair that I have to dress so modestly. It's hard to do, and I don't look nearly as good."

I didn't recognize the sin of knowingly causing temptation, and of treating my body, which is "the temple of the Holy Spirit," with disrespect. I pitied myself instead, because it can be difficult and "uncool" not to conform to the world. Though I dressed differently, I didn't address my heart in the matter, so I didn't repent. I treated the symptoms instead of the root problem.

This is only one of a million examples, of course. The point is --

Repentance is a direct confrontation of the root problem.

When we truly repent, we will first recognize the seriousness of our sin. Action flows from recognition - our behavior will change once we see sin as God sees it. Recognition of sin demands a response, and we are in active rebellion when we choose to ignore the issue rather than go to God about it.

Oh, and I can already tell you what God is going to say - come to me, confess, repent, and be made more whole and more holy by the blood of Christ. Though we are already washed clean by Christ's blood so that we have spiritual life, we are being sanctified day by day while we are on this earth. Repentance is a huge part of sanctification. Let us embrace it, because only in Christ can something be simultaneously so difficult and so beautiful...

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