Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You Hven't Really Said No Until You Say Yes

I like (and agree with) this discussion of repentance by Michael Kelley at Forward Progress
"The Bible calls us to repent of sin and all that it entails. Most of the time when we see that word, “repent,” we think it means “stop.” Stop doing, believing, or thinking whatever it is you are doing, believing, or thinking. But repent doesn’t mean to stop; it means to turn.

True repentance is not just stopping; it involves a shift in focus where you actively choose something different and better than what you used to involved yourself in. Or, to put it in terms of the rebound relationship, you’re not turning away from someone as much as you’re turning toward someone.

Make no mistake – following Jesus involves leaving things behind. Habits, relationships, tendencies, thought patterns – these all fall by the wayside. There is much, much loss in following Jesus. But loss is only the pathway that must be trod to gain.

We’re not just leaving something behind – we are pursuing something better. Think about the parable of the priceless pearl or the treasure hidden in the field. Was there loss? Certainly. The merchant in the story and the man in the field sold everything they had. But did they lament their loss? Absolutely not – for they knew that the loss was only the pathway to gain.

In the gospel, we gain something of universal value. It’s something that makes whatever is lost fade away into oblivion. By God’s grace, true repentance is not fueled by looking back; it’s driven by looking forward. It’s not just saying no, it’s saying yes to something better."

In other words, you haven't really said no to sin (or a specific sin) until you really say YES to Jesus!