The New Testament Greek word for true repentance is metanoia. It means “a change of mind.” All change begins with a change of mind. Notice the focus on the word mind. Repentance is not a change of scenery. Repentance is not a new church or new job or a new marriage. Repentance is a change on the inside—a change in the way I think about something that results in living a different way.
Only God can bring you to repentance. Second Timothy 2:25b says, “God may perhaps grant them repentance … ” Repentance is a gift that God gives to a person who wholeheartedly seeks Him. But God doesn’t force us to repentance; He leads us there through His grace and kindness (Rom. 2:4).
When I’m truly repentant, I exert serious intent and energy toward putting sin behind me. Repentance brings with it a new urgency about my relationship with God and strong negative feelings toward anything that would injure that relationship. What used to be so attractive now repulses me. I’m indignant about its past hold on me and resolutely determined that it will, from now on, be repulsive in my eyes.
Repentance is not easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. That’s why it takes a strong man to repent, and it’s why genuine repentance makes a man stronger.
This is an excerpt from the study “Act Like Men” by James MacDonald. Visit Lifeway.com/ActLikeMen for more information on this resource.