Throughout this week, I’ll be sharing simple verses that have rocked my perspective on life and faith, with just a short note. My hope is that God will move in a similar way in your heart…
“After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said, ‘The kingdom of God has come near. REPENT and BELIEVE the good news!'” -Mark 1:14-15
REPENT: to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better
BELIEVE: to have confidence in the truth of something, although without absolute proof that one is right
Repenting is hard. Believing is harder.
Repenting means understanding and accepting your guilt, reflecting on what brought you into the sin and choosing a different path through discussion with someone you trust.
Believing, however, means making a plan without knowing the end of the story, being held accountable and acting on what you’ve chosen to believe.
Repenting requires faith but belief requires action.
It’s what James meant when he wrote, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Repentance is faith that there’s a better way to live. It’s choosing a different path. But it’s belief that puts that faith into action. It’s belief in God’s goodness and grace that brings movement to repentance.
Too often, we recognize a problem in our life, we know why it happened and what we could do different. We’re willing to right the ship and choose a better way, but for some reason we never actually DO anything. We file away the thought and tell ourselves we’ll pray about it for a while, but before we know it, weeks, months and years have passed and we’re still stuck in the same ruts and traps we’ve always been in.
Thinking is easy. Making promises to ourself is easy. Breaking those promises is even easier. If you don’t make an intentional plan and physically ask someone to hold you accountable, chances are good you’ll never act on your choice to repent. You’ll miss the window and you’ll tell yourself “it’s not a big deal, I’ll get it next time.”
Trouble is, eventually there won’t be a next time. Stop the cycle today. Grab someone you trust, confess your junk, verbalize your repentance, share your plan, be held accountable and let your faith spring into action.