We have been deceived into thinking that repentance is a sad, difficult experience filled with drudgery. If you’ve experienced this feeling before, read on.
Repentance is often described as “turning around” or “changing the way you think.” Even though these feel positive on the outset, I often avoid repenting. I want to keep things to myself and dread the feeling I usually get when I have to admit to someone I was wrong or did something with bad motives.
But an exert from a discipleship guide recently encouraged and challenged me greatly. The book, found here, talks about repentance needing to be met with more than just forgiveness. It’s like this: repentance/forgiveness brings us out of the red. This is mercy. But once we’re back to zero, there’s actually a chance to be moved into the black. This is grace. It looks like this: when someone repents, you do the following:
- Forgive. Act as God’s ambassador to speak God’s forgiveness over them as well. Look them right in the eye and it’s probably healthy to even embrace physically during this time.
- Rebuke. There’s an authority we carry in the heavenly realm that we often fail to walk out. We have the authority to rebuke whatever this person is dealing with. It’s sort of like cleaning up a house. We need to kick that nasty stuff out of there!
- Replace. You cleaned up, but don’t leave it empty. Ask Holy Spirit to come and fill the space with His Presence.
- Bless. Use your continued authority to bless this person’s life. Bless them in the area that the enemy was trying to ransack.
If we start living out biblical forgiveness in relationship, repentance will become what it’s supposed to be: an enjoyable experience. I’ve started doing this (already experienced sharing this perspective change with 3 people and seen amazing results).
I would encourage you to repent of only doing 25% of what real forgiveness is supposed to be. I rebuke the spirit of judgment and condemnation that usually comes over us when someone is attempting to forgive. I invite Holy Spirit to come into your life in a new way and fill you with thankfulness and joy surrounding repentance and forgiveness. I bless you to live a life of freedom and joy because you walk in the fullness of true reptancne and forgiveness!