Does the call to repentance make you feel excited and hopeful or nervous and a little bit scared, like you’re about to get busted for something you’ve overlooked or done wrong?
It’s natural to associate repentance with confession, sin, and failure because repentance is the act of turning away from those things; however, in its core definition repentance is not about sin or failure it’s about re-thinking things. Metanoia, the Greet New Testament word for repentance, refers to after knowledge that results in a change or alteration in one’s mind. Another way of saying it is: re-think your thinking.
Sometimes the things we are re-thinking might be negative or harmful and sometimes they might be very good. For example, when rural communities in our country were first converting to electrical power the residents had to “repent” (or re-think their thinking) and turn from their reliance on candles, kerosene lamps, and lanterns.
In altering their thinking and turning from one inferior power source they were able to receive and connect to a much greater one. I think that’s part of what Jesus meant when He announced the arrival of an entirely new kingdom and then invited people to step into it through repentance.
So…what areas of your life do you need to re-think? Where is your thinking keeping you trapped in yesterday? Where are you still living with lamps and burning torches when God is beckoning you to repent and receive His greater power?