question about REPENTANCE

in my quest for good questions to ask myself & to answer of myself, i came across this question in one of my old lessons for the teen girls at our church, & it struck me as appropriate to ponder on during this time of lent, a time of remembrance, repentance, & return.

why do we often wait so long to repent & return to God after we've sinned?

the context of this question in my lesson is the parable of the prodigal son. why did it take him so long to "come to his senses" before he returned home to his father?

in my life, the answer usually depends on whether i want to return or not... sometimes i'm still enjoying myself to much in the pit & i may not even realize how i've sunk & how filthy dirty i am. but sometimes i'm just so ashamed of where i've been that i can't manage to turn my face upward to God. i might even be too angry at myself to imagine a loving response from God. or perhaps i'm too entrenched in the habit of my sin & godlessness that it's too much work to turn around & journey home to Him. usually, it's not a cut & dry answer but some combination of these.

i think there are as many answers as there are people & as seasons of sinfulness...

i'd really like to hear your answers! it would be ever so helpful to me.

what makes you put off repentance?


rachel mae said...

Sometimes I think it's fear. When you repent, things are different. I like things to stay the same, to stay comfortable. In my head - and even in my heart - I know that God is waiting for me. I know that He will rejoice over me when I turn back to Him. But, I also know that I will have to be different. Sometimes I've just been so errant for so long, that I've grown comfortable with who I am and what my life looks like. It's routine. It's wrong, but it's safe and predictable. I become afraid of who I will have to be when I change. I become afraid of what else I'll be convicted about and have to change. Repentance in one area, I've found, is a slippery slope to conviction and repentance in other areas. What if I get convicted that something else that I really like is wrong? What if I'm not ready to give THAT up? Satan whispers to me of staying comfortable and of status quo and of maintaining course, and sometimes (too often, really), I listen.

So, short answer: fear of "What's next?" can keep me repenting. Sad and sorry, I know.

danae said...

i had never thought of repentance as a slippery slope, but you're absolutely right! and it's funny b/c that should be a good thing [it is a good thing!], but we do often have distorted vision that makes it seem scary or undesirable... thanks for the input!