advent | day fourteen.

I’m sorry I’m posting a little late this evening, but anyway, it’s day 14 of #samjyogaadvent and I want to take a moment to talk about REPENTANCE.

I know “repentance” can bring up some bad feels. It can be a trigger for a lot of people who have experienced abuse within the church. First, if that’s you, I’m so sorry. That’s not what church is supposed to be, and that’s what I want to talk about a little.

I agree with most teachings that repentance is not an apology. The way I understand it, repentance is a change of mind. That change of mind, leads to a change of heart, which leads to a change of action.

But I think a lot of times, we get this a little jumbled.

I’m not sure it’s possible to start with changing the heart. Like Papa Troll says in Frozen, ‘the heart is not easily changed, but the head can be persuaded.’ More often, I think we start with this change of action – or we’re told to – and this sort of repentance fails, every time.

Changing the action before changing the mind or the heart is usually fueled by guilt, shame, or legalistic pride. But God doesn’t draw us to repent by those things. No, rather it is His loving kindness.

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? (Romans 2:4 NLT)

We must allow ourselves and those we counsel and new Christians time for their minds to KNOW this truth in their minds, to TRUST and BELIEVE this with their hearts, and it is THEN and only then that their actions will follow. That leads to “proper” or successful” repentance (for lack of better terms) because it prioritizes healing from our former ways before expecting ability. God prioritizes healing over expectation. He prioritizes love over shame. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

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I found these quotes when I was researching for today’s #samjyogaadvent post and while I opted eventually not to work them in to my original post (Instagram only gives me so much space, so I shared them with the below thoughts separately):

I accepted a while ago and have come to treasure greatly that my life is one of constant growth. I will always be learning and changing and maturing, and I appreciate and understand that repentance is a part of that process. As I get older and wiser, things I’ve done as a young women with less perspective, I might not do now.

I appreciate because I think it’s something we say, as Christians, but rarely really mean: we make mistakes. We do the “wrong” thing and “bad” things, and destructive things – but we are enabled to change and grow and mature and be different in the future. Note: *enabled* not able, as in, given the ability, not already possessing it.

Just a few more thoughts. Anyway, thanks for reading and hanging with me these last 2 weeks. 😊🙏🏻

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