Repentance is necessary for spiritual growth. By admonishing our sins and accepting Jesus Christ into our hearts, we allow Him to cleanse our past and provide us a brighter future.
However, certain people may not understand how the process of repentance goes. If you have reflected on your past actions and have deeply regretted them, you may be on the right track.
Here are steps you can do to bring yourself to a new stage of growth:
1. Acknowledge your sins and the harm they caused. We are not free from sin. We have also made choices that are for the better or worse. If you have chosen the latter, you may have noticed the consequences it brought upon you and the people around you. Understand the pain it caused and vow never to do such a thing again.
2. Take responsibility for your actions. Do not blame others for your acts. Know your role in such measures and take accountability for your efforts. Even if such a deed isn’t 100% your fault, it still helps to acknowledge that you could’ve done better.
3. If possible, apologize. Many of us often apologize when it’s too late. While painful, acknowledging your wrong deeds is essential for a life free from guilt and pain. However, if such an apology is not possible, pray for their peace so that they no longer carry the pain of what you have brought upon them.
4. Ask forgiveness from the Lord. God is merciful and kind. He is also just and wise. However, to have a closer relationship with Him, we must first acknowledge that what we have done is wrong. We must also ask for His forgiveness so he can see the genuine sincerity in our hearts.
5. Take small steps. Change doesn’t happen overnight. If you have done something regrettable, which eventually becomes a habit, learn to pull yourself away from such a pattern by taking little steps of change every day. Do not expect to be forgiven and to change overnight—instead, expect yourself to at least do a little bit better every day until the guilt and the habit disappear.
Repentance is an ongoing process. Nevertheless, we should never neglect the benefits it will bring us in the long term. With patience and kindness, we can start anew and become better people in the eyes of God.
by Chad Groen
Author of Jonah: Beyond the Whale