Early in my Christian experience I grew deeply frustrated at the numbers of well meaning Christians telling us that we should repent without telling us how to repent. In time I became determined to help correct this problem.
The more I studied the scriptures on this topic the more convinced I became that it is ineffective and wrong to think that the depth of our repentance is dependent on how bad we make ourselves feel! That may be the only solution you currently know, but that kind of repentance is too simplistic, ineffective, and not even biblical!
Sorrow for sin is right. But the repentance that God desires is "without regret!" (Click here to go to "How Not to Repent")!
A strict definition of the word repentance means to "change your mind." Even more than that, I think "repentance" is the word that most accurately describes what you get when you try to fit everything together that the Bible says about growing in our relationship with God. It is in this broad "everything" sense that I believe we need to consider "How to Repent."
I believe that understanding "How to Repent" is one of the greatest needs in the church today. The pain and struggle of the Christian life is deserving of far more than an ineffective solution! We dare not be weak or shallow when it comes to answering this question.
How to Repent for Growth - A Jigsaw Puzzle?
What the Bible says about the topic of Christian growth is kind of like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Each piece needs to be understood and fit together. But because we are talking about the Bible here, it is important that we fit the pieces together and still maintain the integrity of each individual piece! We need to approach it that way because the bigger picture is vital for helping us at being more effective in our growth toward God.
My desire has been to take everything in the Bible related to Christian growth and fit it into something practical that could easily be applied by many people. Obviously, this goal is lofty and can always be improved upon.
None of us should ever think that we have arrived in our understanding about Christian growth. I am only sharing with you where I am now in my pilgrimage. Pressing forward to an even greater understanding and a more effective application should always be our goal.
Even though I will always be improving these things, I am confident that you will find these principles helpful as they are now.
"How to Repent" is my attempt at providing a practical theology of how Christian growth can happen at it's best. It all boils down to what you can do to prepare your heart so that God is better able to change you.
You will learn to think of repentance as a process of changing your mind—a process of finding freedom to turn to God by changing how you think about your earthly ways and about God.
Deep level change isn't going to happen just because you know something in your head. You have to direct your heart toward God by taking steps to calm your fears and build your faith. Repentance is about training your heart.
You have to become a teacher and your own heart has to become your student. You have to work with your heart to make it easier for you to turn and draw near to God. This site shows you how to help your heart to learn that you can turn from your earthly ways because it is safe and good for you to believe and trust God more.
Try to remember as you proceed that repentance isn't about being perfect! Repentance is a practice of making continual improvements because you never stop directing your heart to feed yourself with God and not by earthly means. Repentance is about continually carrying our cross and forever dying to self. It is also about continually being more and more alive to God!
Repent Toward Abiding
One of the most important statements I can make about repentance is this: Repentance must always be toward abiding in Christ -- staying inside the presence of God all the time. If repentance doesn't take you toward abiding more fully then it isn't repentance in the "big picture" sense of what the Bible as a whole tells us. This site and the ebooks are for helping you do this.