Repentance is defined as the process of expressing remorse, turning around and away from the misdeeds, sins and moral shortcomings. It is the abandoning of the sinful state of the human life and the total surrender and turning towards Christ. It is the seeking of forgiveness and henceforth aligning of one’s life to God’s will.
When we sin and drift away from the ways of God, it is always important to remember that there is a father in heaven. Ready to receive us back into His fold. The prodigal son, after spending all he had as his possessions, and after falling into destitution and finally eating with pigs, realized that he had sinned. He remembered his father back home, and made a conscious decision to go back.
He had a turning point in his life and decided to go back and begin living a life of purpose. For true repentance to occur humility has to be in us.
The Bible intimates that when he came to himself, when he came back to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”
What a tremendous display of humility and grace. He realized his shortcomings, and was even prepared to abandon his place in his father’s heart and household. That should be the attitude of a repentant sinner. One needs to be able and willing to surrender all to God for redemption.
Once we submit to Him who is the author of our lives, He is then able and willing to put us straight into a direction of a life that is with a purpose.
This is not always an easy undertaking. For in salvation, and when we find our way back to God through repentance, not everyone will always be happy about the decisions we take. The enemy sure will not. The challenges will be enormous. When the older son and brother to the prodigal son learnt that his long lost brother was back and that the father had taken time to organize a feast in his name, the Bible says he became angry and would not go in to celebrate.
Now one would expect that he would be happy to see his brother who was long lost and rejoice that he had been found. Instead, he laments and says to his father, “Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots; you killed the fatted calf for him.”
The point here is not the jealousy. It is the fact that the older son has and appears as if he will always remind redeemed son of his past transgressions. This sad habit still is a recurrence in our Christian circles. We celebrate the winning of souls to Christ but will always talk and remind these souls from where they came. This should not be the case for true Christianity.
When the prodigal son journeyed towards home, his father saw him from a distance and had compassion. He ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. The son began expressing remorse, but his father said to his servants, “Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
The focus of members of the church should be on compassionate acts to those that we receive back to the fold of Christ. This should be the impact of repentance on purposeful living.