Why I Love to Repent

NOTE: This was originally posted on Laurie’s blog for mommies, Peartreemommy.com. Now that we have a new baby on the way and since we’ve discovered that more than just mommies were reading her blog, we’ve decided to streamline by shutting down peartreemommy.com and making some choice previous posts and her future posts available here on theblackthornproject.com.


Why I Love to Repent

Repent

It’s one of my new favorite words. It used to be one of those words that made me uneasy and uncomfortable, mostly because I didn’t know what it meant. Kind of like this next one:

Confess

Also a used-to-be-uncomfortable word. I’d hear it or read it in the Bible every once in a while, and I’d start to squirm a little bit. I think it made me feel uncomfortable because I didn’t want to let anyone–even God–in on the fact that I wasn’t perfect or that the plants in the garden of my soul needed any tending.

So I’d stick with the easy confessions. I’d stick with things like not helping the old lady across the street or taking a harsh tone with a friend.

But a little while ago, I read this verse:

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.  Acts 3:19

I hadn’t ever felt refreshed and rested in the depths of my spirit after confessing something to someone or to God. What was I not getting about confession and repentance that it didn’t seem to work for me?

As I spent some time talking this through with trusted friends and with the Father, I realized that I was thinking of confession and repentance all wrong.

I was thinking of confession and repentance as a burden, something that would show I wasn’t the awesome Christian I tried so hard to make myself into. But that’s thinking like a slave, not like a daughter. That’s thinking like someone who has something to prove, instead of like someone who is at rest in Christ.

It dawned on me that confession and repentance are much more fun than I initially thought they were; they are a gift of the Father that brings me closer to the fullness of who I am in Christ. These two words speak to the working out of my salvation that gets me living into the abundant life that Jesus promised.

So now I’m much more interested in confessing the big stuff. I catch myself telling the Lord: Bring it on. Bring on the roots of things. The vows and agreements I’ve made in my life that work against me and against others. The judgments I’ve made against myself, God, and others. The unforgiveness that may be lurking in my heart.

Make no mistake, he does bring it on. And sometimes I feel like that poor tree in Christmas Vacation that Clark Griswold and family had to pull up by the roots and strap to the roof of their station wagon. Totally exposed.

But then I confess. I repent. I stop the reaping of that thing in my life. And then, because it’s all in the light now, the miracle happens. Those roots get chopped up and thrown in the chipper, and my spirit feels lighter, and, you guessed it, so refreshed and full of life.

So now repentance and confession are two of my favorite things to do–because when I confess and repent, I get freer and freer to be the woman God created me to be in Christ. My relationships are stronger. I am way more fun to be around. I can hear the Lord clearer. Everything is better.

February 11, 2011