Change Your Mind
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
The word “repentance” in the New Testament is the Greek word metanoia, which simply means “a change of mind.” Meta means “change” and noia refers to your mind. There are religious folks who have this idea that repentance means groveling in dirt and condemning themselves until they feel they have sufficiently earned God’s forgiveness.
My question is, how condemned and sorrowful do they need to be before they have genuinely “repented”? And after they have “repented,” should they fail again in the same area, does it mean that they did not really “repent” completely the first time?
I do not doubt the sincerity of people who believe in “repentance” this way. However, you can be sincere in your intent but still be sincerely wrong when repentance is not based on right believing that leads to inward heart transformation.
It is possible to beat your breast sorrowfully, put on sackcloth and ashes, cry your eyeballs out, and remain unchanged. Sorrow doesn’t equal transformation.
It is right believing that brings about true repentance (change of mind) and hence genuine transformation. It is impossible to truly repent the Bible way—to experience Jesus, His love, His grace, and His power and to allow Him to change your mind and your belief system—and still remain the same.
Can you see how man-centered teachings on contrition and repentance can sound so good, but in reality trap people in a permanent cycle of defeat and hypocrisy? The truth is, if you are a new creation in Christ, you already hate the sin and the wrongdoing. It vexes your soul, and you are looking for a way out of your bondage.
The repentance you need—the change of mind you need—is to know that God has already forgiven you. Stop condemning yourself and walk in His righteous identity to new levels of victory over sin.
Now that you understand what Bible repentance is, let’s apply it to winning the battle for your mind. When wrong thoughts come into your head, the repentance or change of mind that you need is to know that those thoughts don’t belong to you.
Repentance in this situation is not about beating yourself up over those thoughts. I used to do that and it only left me more oppressed and defeated.
No, give them no room to flourish by ignoring them while you continue to be established and secure in your identity in Christ. Fill your mind with His thoughts, His living Word, His peace, His joy, and His love.
This devotional is taken from the book 100 Days of Right Believing—Daily Readings from The Power of Right Believing.
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