This verse comes from the Parable of the prodigal son…a young man, who after squandering his portion of his inheritance, found himself starving to death in the middle of a pigsty. It was in those deplorable conditions, that he finally came to himself…recovering his right mind, and realizing just how far he had wandered away. Repentance is a change of mind…leading to a change of heart…which leads to a change of our actions. Unfortunately for many of us, Godly sorrow is only attained when we find ourselves in the middle of the pigsties of life.
When we compare the actions of Zacchaeus and the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-22 we can see quite a contrast. Where Zacchaeus spontaneously offered to donate his great wealth to the needy…the rich young ruler, when challenged by Jesus to sell everything he owned and give the money to the poor, left unwilling. True repentance changes us from the inside out. It transforms our heart, causing us to alter our actions and way of thinking to that of Christ’s.
Repentance is the beginning of your journey with God. True repentance means taking responsibility for what you’ve done… for owning your sins. Repentance could also be called an action word…it starts with a heart change, but commands a directional change too – a turning from darkness to light, evil to good, wicked to righteous. Repentance is the starting point of that new life you’re looking for.
You love your children don’t you? You want only the best for them, and for them to avoid as many pitfalls and sadness you had to learn the hard way growing up. So why should it be any different with our Heavenly Father? Proverbs 3:12 says, ” The Lord disciplines those He loves.” You are a cherished child of God when He admonishes you over something not right in your life. For He also wants only the best for you. When God shows you something out of kilter…get serious… don’t ignore or get angry at God…admit you need a moral re-orientation of your mind and heart, and repent.
House Rules…if you have children, you probably maintained order under your roof with these. With House Rules in place, you could admonish, educate, and guide your children in the right way…not as a tyrant, but as a loving parent wanting only the best for your kids. Our Heavenly Father wants only the very best for us…and sometimes He needs to use the same tactics. But if we sincerely and seriously undergo a moral reorientation of our soul ,acknowledging the error of our ways…and turn to God – those House Rules will suddenly make total sense.
In Biblical times a very public expression of grief or repentance was to tear your robe. But the Lord doesn’t desire showy theatrics if our hearts aren’t in it. He would rather have a sincere inward commitment than a dramatic outward production anytime.
The Lord’s kindness and mercy is extended to all…it is us who turn away, not Him. It is us who look with disdain on His grace, never taking into consideration what it will cost us in the end. Romans 2:4 says, ” Do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience – not realizing that God’s kindness leads you towards repentance?”