The Gift of Repentance
"Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate."
"No! I didn't do it!" My mom heard my brother's denial with a sinking heart, for my mom knew he wasn't telling the truth. Mom breathed a prayer asking God for help before asking my brother again what happened. He continued to deny he was lying, until finally my mom threw her hands up in exasperation. Saying she needed a time out; mom began to walk away when she felt a hand on her shoulder and heard his apology. He responded to the convicting of the Holy Spirit and repented.
In the Old Testament book of Joel, God called His people to true repentance for their sins as He welcomed them to return to Him wholeheartedly (2:12). God didn't seek outward acts of remorse, but rather that they would soften their hard attitudes: "Rend your heart and not your garments." Joel reminded the Israelites that God is "gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love" (v. 13).
We might find confessing our wrongdoing difficult, for in our pride we don't want to admit our sins. Perhaps we've fudged the truth, and we justify our actions by saying it was only "a little white lie." But when we heed God's gentle yet firm prompting to repent, He'll forgive us and cleanse us from all our sins (1 John 1:9). We can be free of guilt and shame, knowing we're forgiven.
How did you feel when you told a "little white lie?"
How did the realization of what you did bring conviction and ultimately repentance?
Once we agree and promise the Lord that we will follow Him, the first step is asking for forgiveness of or sins and repentance. These are free gifts that Jesus died for and earned for you with His sacrificial death. Ask for forgiveness of your sins and be free of your burden and let God do the rest.