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One BIG THING I’ve Repented For in My Life!

We know that when we commit a sin, we are supposed to repent and ask God to forgive us. But what does it mean to repent and how do we do it?

The Oxford Dictionary offers three definitions for “repent”:

  1. Feel deep sorrow about one’s actions
  2. Wish one had not done, regret; resolve not to continue
  3. Feel regret or penitence

We’re going to assume that, because we desire to repent, we already feel deep regret or sorrow for our actions. So the definition we are looking for is the last part of #2, resolve not to continue. Repentance means that we firmly decide not to continue with the sinful behavior for which we are repenting.

Let me give you an example. When I was young, I used to lie to my parents a lot. I lied about even the smallest things, like whether I had finished my milk or done my homework. I’m not proud of it, and I finally repented of this behavior, making a firm decision to start being honest.

We all make mistakes–you can repent for something and then commit the same sin again later. If that’s the case, then you probably need to talk to God about why you continue to commit this sin and repent. It also helps to find a friend, parent, or church leader to whom you can be accountable; accountability helps us stop the sinful behavior that we are trying to leave behind.

Repentance is closely tied to forgiveness, so if you are repenting of sinful behavior, use this as a general guideline:

  • Confess the sin to God
  • Ask God to forgive you
  • The Bible says if you have sinned against someone, you need to confess the sin to him or her and ask him or her to forgive you as well

So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24)

  • Repent! Determine in your heart to do the opposite of the sinful behavior

The process of repentance isn’t complicated, but it does require a heart that sincerely desires a change in behavior.

How important do you think repentance is?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).

Poll

Do you feel God has forgiven you for something you've repented for?

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Image: Hemera | Thinkstock

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9 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by mandycat96 on November 4, 2012 at 04:22

    Does anybody believe that God can forgive me for committing sexual acts before marriage????

  2. dancingdaughterofGod

    Posted by dancingdaughterofGod on February 23, 2012 at 17:06

    The hardest part, for me, is mostly forgiving myself. Then there’s always that feeling of “why should the perfect, God Most High forgive me? The one who always messes up?” But I think that’s still me feeling unable to forgive myself, and with that Him completely forgiving me. It hurts so much and it seems so easy just to let Him forgive you and therefore you forgiving yourself…but why is it so hard?

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by emilybrub74 on January 2, 2012 at 10:28

    I wouldn’t say chewing my nails is necesarrily a sin but a bad habit. I will myself not to do it and tell family anf friends that if they see me chewing my nails to point it out so I can stop asap. I am doing pretty well- not perfect but my nails are longer than little stube now. :)I also remember how gross it is and all the dirt you collect under your fingernails throughout the day. XP

  4. Paris

    Posted by Paris on December 19, 2011 at 20:58

    God has forgiven me for so much,even the same thing. You know the best part,he forgives us over and over again,no matter if you do the same thing again. God is too good.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by 88do on December 18, 2011 at 10:09

    Ugh it’s so confusing how are you suppose to remember all your sins and never do it again?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Amy on December 18, 2011 at 17:48

      Hi 88do!
      I know exactly how you feel, it can TOTALLY get confusing! But, I think what we’re supposed to do is repent of the sins that we do know about/remember, and ask God to show us if there’s anything else we need to repent for. We aren’t able to keep track of all our sins because we sin pretty often (see me raising my hand? ) but when we do sin,we should try to repent of it as quickly as we can. God understands that we forget, and that, even when we do try our hardest not to sin we will still mess up. That’s why we have to ask Him to help us, every day. I hope this helps 🙂

    • Exlon

      Posted by Exlon on December 18, 2011 at 14:34

      You can never stop doing -all- your sins, and that’s completely understandable. We can never be completely free of sin until we die and are with Jesus. However, there are sins we can try to tackle and stop/tone down while we are here. Like maybe there’s a particular sin you’re struggling with. Maybe you have a tendency to say mean, hurtful things to people instead of encouraging them. You can pray to God to help you on stopping that, and you try bit by bit to work on it yourself (God wants your heart to be in it). You can’t stop yourself from every sin–that’s impossible, but you can ask God to help you work on one that you’re struggling a lot with and would like to get out of your way.

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by luvJesusInHeavn on December 17, 2011 at 12:50

    There’s something I’ve done for a long time now, and only recently have I repented — as in promised God I would not do it ever again. Now all I can do is resist the temptation to do that thing again, and I think I can do it. 😀