I’m still thinking about repentance today. I’ve been thinking about what it is that really leads us to a changed mind. In Romans 2 we read “It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance.” So, in other words it is the goodness of God’s character that changes our minds.
Like most people I had to suffer through plenty of bad things and most of them were brought on because of my own decisions and behavior. It didn’t matter how many car wrecks or overdoses there were I still continued in the destructive behavior. From the outside looking in most people probably thought why doesn’t he see what he’s doing to himself? Tracey kept thinking, after each terrible event, maybe this will be what wakes him up only to find out it never happened. I can’t say, prior to my being born again, that I ever really had that one moment where I saw the light and everything changed. There was however a time when I decided to go to church because somehow I thought church was the place to find answers about the Bible. I had come to a stand still in my life and didn’t know what to do, but deep down I started to think maybe God is the one who will provide for me.
As I thought about goodness, rather than bad things, being what leads us to repentance I thought about the story in Luke 15 about the Prodigal son. I used to think it was him losing his money and friends that made him change his mind. Today it struck me how it wasn’t the bad things at all but his remembering how good his father’s servants had it. He said, “How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!” So, it was the fact that his father was so good to his servants that lead him to return, not how difficult things had become.
Sometimes when you see someone going to jail or prison over and over again the temptation is to think “What’s it going to take for them to learn?” I have come to the conclusion that is really not the right question. Rather than go into jail and say, “How many times do you have to get put in here to learn?” I go to share with them how good God is and how much he loves them. I am more and more convinced every day our job is to elevate and magnify Jesus Christ. As we do that we will start to see more and more people come to repentance. Once a person’s mind is changed their behavior will soon follow and as they learn to live with a different perspective maybe their visits to the jail will stop too.
Written by Louie