There is an eternal difference between regret and repentance. Regret feels bad about past sins. Repentance turns away from past sins. Regret looks to our own circumstances. Repentance looks to God. Most of us are content with regret. We just want to feel bad for awhile, have a good cry, enjoy the cathartic experience, bewail our sin, and talk about how sorry we are. But we don’t want to change. We don’t want to deal with God.
Things Will Never Change. This toxic, dangerous thought process has the power to destroy your marriage, friendships, and career. These four words, Things Will Never Change, replace confidence with cynicism. These four words, Things Will Never Change, replace high hopes with depression and despair. These four words, Things Will Never Change, blind people to the possibility that God might have better days ahead. These four words, Things Will Never Change, are so powerful they can handcuff the hands of God. Jesus didn’t do any miracles in His hometown of Nazareth. Why? The Bible says, “because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:58 NKJV).
Repentance meant that a man should reverse directions, change the mode of life to which he had become accustomed, and reorient himself. Repentance meant the opening up of a new horizon not previously visible. It extended further and comprised more than the individual renewal of man in his inner life. About face!
We are to be countercultural agents of change—in the world, yet not of it. Together we are called to ask, What does it mean to be followers of Christ in our local community? In what ways do our values and beliefs shape how we live out the gospel and its implications in our cultural context? How can we best communicate the hope and truth in Jesus’ Kingdom to our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family?
If change and growth are not programmed into your spirituality, if there are not serious warnings about the blinding nature of fear and fanaticism, your religion will always end up worshipping the status quo and protecting your present ego position and personal advantage as if it were God.
People change when they hurt enough they have to change, they learn enough they want to change, or they receive enough they are able to change.
Everything has changed because of what we’re facing, but nothing has changed in terms of who He is in our midst. “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”