One of my little dogs popped on the floor. She is not neurologically normal and although she is potty trained she shows no remorse or repentance for her mess up. She is oblivious. It’s hard to even discipline her because she just does not get it. On the other hand, my other dog is a normal dog. He is of normal intelligence on doggy standards and when he goes the bathroom in the house I do not have to find the evidence to know he messed up. No he is normally hiding with his tail between this legs. He knows he screwed up and he is repenting.
It is hard to be to harsh on him because he normally looks so pitiful with his tail between his legs and head bowed. When it comes to sin in our lives people are very much like these 2 extremes. Some of us our so sensitive to our own sin that when we mess up we instantly repent. We bow before our Heavenly Father asking for forgiveness. Other people are more like my first dog. It is not that they do not want to repent, it’s that they are completely oblivious to the sin in the first place.
The first step to repentance is to first acknowledge the sin. Without the acknowledgement of the sin we are completely blind. Just like my first dog, who is indeed partially blind. So how do we open our eyes to sin, how do we acknowledge sin in our lives? Well God is ultimately the one that convicts us but he has also given us tools.
Tool #1- The Bible. The Bible has the 10 commandments but also stories of people’s sin against God. It is through the Bible we often gain insight and understanding of sin in our lives
Tool #2- Jesus’s life on earth. Jesus never sinned. His life was a testament of how we should aspire to live. Furthermore he teaches us and gives us deep insights into God and sin
Tool #3- the Holy Spirit. When we become believers we receive the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that often convicts us of sin.
Tool #4- the body of Christ. The body of followers of Jesus is the body of Christ, the church. It is often through community that we are convicted of sin but also have the support we need to overcome and work through sin. The body of Christ provides us accountability, mentorships and guidance.
In order to be transformed into a new creation through Christ we have to first come to terms with our sin. We have to be aware and acknowledge our sin. Then we have to repent and turn from our sin to live in a different way. Repentance is not just saying I am sorry. Repentance is the entire process from first acknowledging the sin to completely turning from our sin to walk in freedom with Christ.