Martin Luther’s first of 95 thesis reads like this: “When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ said repent, He meant that the entire lives of believers should be of repentance.”
That’s a big call, but one you find to be true as you grow in Christ. Repentance isn’t a one time thing; it’s a lifestyle. When you’re a child, repenting often meant saying you’re sorry and really meaning it. But as you grow in Christ (and in age), you become more self-aware. And as you do, you start to find some disturbing things in play within you.
You find just how duplicitous your motives can be.
You discover how great is your capacity to deceive yourself.
And, in the case of repentance, you find that often when you repent, you don’t really mean it. You’re sorry for the consequences of the sin, but maybe not the sin itself. Or you make internal excuses for your actions, saying you’re sorry, but all the time justifying what you’ve done.
As our capacity for repentance increases, we find that we might need to repent of the very manner in which we are repenting.More at the link. He goes on to say that we should not allow this concept to paralyze us with guilt, but rather to preach the gospel to ourselves even while repenting. The blood of Christ covers our sin and our inability ot properly repent of those sins. What a wonderful Savior!