Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday's Resolution {Repentance}

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 We are picking apart Jonathan Edward's 70 Resolutions, one week and one resolution at a time. Don't forget to start where he did- "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake."

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.


My paraphrase:

3. Resolved, if I ever slip and get lazy, failing to keep to any of these Resolutions, to repent of all the ways that I have slacked and/or sinned that I can remember, as soon as I realize that I have been slipping. 

For as long as we live, every single one of us will be battling against the Curse. Even the Redeemed sinner still sins- Christ has paid for our sins, and we will not ultimately be punished for them, yet we still sin. 


And as long as we are sinners battling the Curse, we will need repentance. Repentance is acknowledging our sin (calling it what God calls it!), asking for His forgiveness, and by His grace turning away from it, endeavoring after new obedience.

Our first hold up tends to be acknowledging sin for what it is, and calling it what God calls it. We have all sorts of new names for sin that justify it in our mind.

Gossip has become speaking the truth (even if it is unpleasant and unnecessary). Lying can come in many flavors and variations, and "white" ones are considered harmless. Angry outbursts and out-of-control emotions are blamed on our hormones (though these are contributing factors, we are still responsible before God to live self-controlled!). If I choose to become angry at something you did, it is your fault for making me angry.

The first step in repentance is blowing the whistle on your sin. "I did it, it was wrong, I have no excuse." Boy, does this require humility. It is so unpleasant to boldly proclaim that I am not perfect, I sin, and that my sin is ugly and messy.

Next we must ask for His forgiveness. The beautiful thing is that after we've confessed, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins (1 John 1:9). For those who have put total faith in Christ, there is now no more condemnation (Romans 8:1).

That means that I don't still have to slink around in guilt and misery after coming clean with the Lord. He will never bring up my sins again (see Psalm 103:10-14, so beautiful!!!), He chooses to forget them. When He looks at me, He sees the perfect righteousness and obedience of His Son Jesus Christ.

Finally, we must turn away from our sin, and endeavor after new obedience. This is the hardest part! I have recently (and slowly) been learning it in my own life. 

Lately I have really been struggling with impatience, rudeness, and selfishness towards my husband. I forget about the hard work he does all day, the gracious way he is seeking to lead our family spiritually, and his loving appreciation for me and all that I do.

So I get snappy and mouthy. Under my skin I start boiling as I count his offenses (read: little things he does that aren't even a little bit bad, but interpreted badly by me because of the nasty attitude I am filtering them through).

Even if I don't say anything (which inevitably, I always do), he can feel the frost oozing from my sour expression and silence.

After "apologizing" (read: expressing worldly sorrow over the consequences of my behavior, namely an unhappy relationship with my husband) for the gazillionth time last night, my husband kindly reminded me that apologies are meaningless if I revert back to the same behavior only minutes after expressing my sorrow.

Real repentance means I stop treating him that way. That I realize my selfishness for what it is, confess before God and Niall, asking their forgiveness, and then doing the opposite thing. Loving Niall more than myself, being thankful for such a great and loving husband, and treating him with gentleness and kindness.

Repentance isn't easy, which is why, with Jonathan Edwards, we need to humbly entreat God by His grace to help and enable us for it.

Are you Resolved to Repent?



2 comments:

  1. Hello. I am here from Life in the White House's comment hop.

    You write some powerful words. I am blessed to be encountering new takes and wisdom from some ladies striving to be more like Him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you were encouraged :). The internet can be such a blessing in that way, the Lord has really used several godly lady bloggers to influence me as a Christian wife, mom and homemaker!

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