Happily, the good news is that these definitions are rather weak interpretations of a powerful Biblical truth.
Repentance in the Bible is all about our response to a Holy God. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word translated ‘repent’ comes from a root word meaning ‘to sigh’ & speaks of human sorrow at our inability to measure up to God’s standards. The Old Testament is the story of that failure, and each one of us can identify with it – try as hard as we might, we can’t measure up.
The New Testament, however, tells a different tale: how Jesus came so man could be forgiven & set free, & how He sent the Holy Spirit to enable people to live different lives. New Testament repentance isn’t just about contrition or resolution, it’s about empowerment.
Interestingly, in the New Testament, the Greek word translated ‘repent’ means ‘to think differently’, ‘to change one’s way of thinking’. The starting point for change is to agree with God, to align ourselves with His thoughts.
What if what God says doesn’t line up with the evidence of our eyes? Abraham faced this problem, and chose to believe the higher reality [Romans 4:19,20]. Eventually his experience caught up with his faith. We are to follow his example.
We can start that process of transformation, in this, the run up to Easter, by reflecting on what has been purchased for us through the Cross. Click on the link below for some daily meditations:
Aligning your thoughts with God’s way of thinking, is the first step to a changed life -
the fruit of a repentant heart.