A Fresh Start Begins with Repentance
“Let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say, ‘We have sinned and rebelled.’” (Lamentations 3:40-42, NLT)
The path to a fresh start and a clear conscience begins with repentance.
What does it mean to repent? It means three things: First, take responsibility for your sin. Second, turn away from those things. And, third, turn toward God and his grace.
The Bible says, “Let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say, ‘We have sinned and rebelled’” (Lamentations 3:40-42 NLT).
Repentance doesn’t mean rationalizing your sin. Don’t think, “It was no big deal.” It was a big deal, or you wouldn’t have remembered it. And don’t say, “It happened so long ago” or “It was just a stage I went through” or “Everybody does it.” You can’t rationalize sin, minimize it, excuse it, or blame others. That is not true repentance.
Pay attention to this: The greatest holdup to the healing of your hang-up is you. You’re not waiting on God or anyone else. God is ready and wanting to heal the hang-up in your life.
The Bible says in 1 John 1:8, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (NIV).
Would you like to get rid of the self-defeating habits in your life? You will stop defeating yourself when you stop deceiving yourself. It starts with gut-level honesty and acknowledging that something is wrong, no matter how much you want to rationalize it and excuse it. You need to admit your sin, confess it, and get it out of your life.
Take that first step of repentance today and get on the path to a fresh start.
Talk It Over
What are you pretending not to know? What are you pretending not to feel guilty about? What are you pretending is not a sin?
What steps will you take to address your sin and get it out of your life today?
What do you think God wants you to do after you’ve repented of your sin?
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This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.