“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” [ ROMANS 12:2 ]
Transformation starts by changing the way you think.
There are many people who desire to change, grow, repent, mature, heal, or simply please God. They want to get better, grow wiser and have grown tired of who they are or their stagnant state. The desire is there, and some may have even attempted to live out these ambitions for a time, yet they seem to eventually always fall back into their old ways. They begin to lose hope that they will ever become who they intend to be. Does any of this sound familiar? Well, I can tell you that any significant change or transformation that a person has ever made started with a change of mindset. Change the way you think and you are able to change the way you see your sin, or a situation that you desire to break free from.
YOU CAN NEVER ENTER INTO A NEW SEASON AND EXPECT CHANGE WHEN YOU REFUSE TO CHANGE THE MINDSET OF YOUR PREVIOUS ONE.
We will be stuck in the same patterns of sin, immaturity or unhealthiness if we are stuck in the same patterns of thinking. Unfortunately, many of us choose to stay comfortable in our old way of thinking out of fear of change, yet we complain that we have been stuck in this “season” for too long. One amazing truth to hold onto is that even though we may not have control over certain circumstances in our lives, by God’s grace we are free to practice changing our perspective, understanding and mindset in order to be free from who we have been. It is by His love for us, when He bore our burden on that cross, that He declared us free to change our old thinking and our old ways by repentance through grace. And it is not by shame or guilt that we are changed, but by His loving kindness!
“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the KINDNESS OF GOD leads you to repentance.” [ ROMANS 2:4 ]
When it comes to sin, we don’t walk away: we run. You have probably already heard that repenting means to turn, 180 degrees, in order to run in the opposite direction. Something you may have not heard before is that repentance is also a “change in mindset.” Not only are you called to redirect your physical direction, but true repentance takes changing the way that you think.
Changing your sinful actions without changing your thinking, will eventually lead your flesh right back to that same sin.
Changing your thinking without changing your sinful actions, is simply disobedience to God.
Repentance is a product of God’s love & grace.
It is a very sad thing to know that repentance has a bad stigma in Christian culture. I recently read a quote and it beautifully explained how repentance offers hope and healing, not despair. It is a demonstration of God’s love and grace. It may be a slow fade to fall away from Christ, but by His grace we are only one step away from a path of repentance. So we must pray for discernment and clarity on what areas of our lives are displeasing to God, and by embracing the sorrow that comes from the revealing of our sin, we do not despair or self-loathe. We praise Him for revealing our sin to us to the point of sorrow, because that is a demonstration of His love for us. During a season of repentance, He allows you to experience sorrow because He is trying to save you. He knows well that sin leads to death.
“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.” [2 COR. 7:9-10 ]
Repentance ≠ Shame.
Do not misunderstand sorrow for guilt/shame. Guilt is attached to condemnation. But the word is clear that there is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1) and that there is no fear in God’s perfect love (1 John 4:18). Sorrow is a grieving of our sin which allows us to remorse and change our thinking of who we have been. Allows the opportunity to move forward with a new mindset, in order be transformed into the new person. PENITENCE means “sorrowful over sin.” That’s what we want. We want to be made sorrowful and embrace the pain that comes when our sin is revealed because it is the beginning of a beautiful journey of freedom and repentance. God disciplines His children out of love to save their lives not for the purpose of shame or punishment. Repentance allows for growth, transformation and righteousness. It draws us near to Him, not away. It is a declaration that we as His children choose HIS love and goodness for us over our old ways.
“For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” [ HEBREWS 12:10-11 ]
It doesn’t matter how you try to justify, beautify, or glamorize your sin, it always leads to destruction. This is an area where we need to RENEW our minds!! If we have somehow convinced ourselves that we are “good” in a pattern of sin, then we have believed the lie and are unable to be free at this point. Repentance is a beautiful thing because it allows us to humbly admit that we are not right in our sin, and it means God has removed the veil that keeps us blind from the destruction that our own sin causes us and others.
So, when we make the decision to accept God’s grace and embrace our season of REPENTANCE, we must understand that this season means:
- A time of sorrow/penitence
- A time of renewing our minds
- A time of God’s comfort
- A time of some pain
- A time of growth
- A time of change
The enemy wants you to believe you are stuck in your ways forever: renew your mind.
The enemy wants you to believe there is no hope for you: renew your mind.
The enemy wants you to believe God doesn’t want anything to do with you: renew your mind.
The enemy wants you to believe that repentance is a shameful thing: renew your mind.
The enemy wants you to believe that sin is satisfying: renew your mind.
The enemy wants you to believe that sin is freedom: renew your mind.
The enemy wants you to believe you’re the only one that needs repentance: renew your mind.
GOD’s LOVE allows room for growth. We must be willing and ready to reject our old way of thinking and allow for a season of repentance which leads to life. ❤