Confession & Repentance
As I've been observing Lent this year I have been thinking a lot about confession. That's kind of the point of Lent, isn't it? Taking a good hard look at our sin and confessing it before God. I went to an Ash Wednesday service and we read Psalm 51. This is one of David's Psalm which he wrote after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba. In this Psalm he confesses his sin and asks for forgiveness. And then in verse 10 he says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." The second part of confession is repentance.
I feel I've gotten really good at admitting my sin. I'm the first to raise my hand and say, "I am not perfect! I mess up again and again! I yell at my kids! I'm selfish! I'm lazy! I don't trust God!" But the repentance part, that part's harder.
I've been quick to pull the, "that's just the way I am" card. And yes, God made me the way I am. He made me an introvert and He made me wary and He made me passionate. And yes, I'm bent towards certain ways of doing things. But that doesn't mean I'm stuck. I am a new creation and I am in the process of being sanctified each and everyday. Just because my natural inclination is to wake up in a bad mood (it's always too early!) doesn't mean I have to live that way. I can choose to turn away from that and turn towards God.
Just because I'm an introvert, doesn't mean I have to avoid talking and ministering to people and become a recluse. Just because I'm wary, doesn't mean I have to avoid taking risks for God and following in obedience. Just because I'm passionate, doesn't mean I need to yell at my kids to get a point across. I can be who God made me to be, but turn away from my sin. I can repent and return to God.
In Joel 2:13 it says, "Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love..." God longs for us to repent of our sin and come back to Him. He is a patient and loving Father filled with compassion for His children. As I move forward in my walk with the Lord I want to confess my sin, and then I want to repent from it. I want to feel the full weight of it, acknowledge it, deeply regret it, and then leave it at the feet of Jesus. And then I want to return to my Heavenly Father who never turns away from me.