Repentance is spiritual breathing.
We “breath” out what is an attempt by the enemy of our soul to sow shame into our lives and we breath in the affect of Jesus work on the cross [forgiveness, love and acceptance].
Shame is one of the main reasons why repentance has a bad reputation. Legalistic Christianity [which is really not Christianity at all] uses shame as a motivation for behavior modification. Under legalism, punishment is paramount. The idea is that the fear of punishment will cause us to avoid sin.
Shame is emotional punishment, which is often much more effective for behavior modification than physical punishment. Under legalism shame is seen as the emotional precursor to repentance which is seen as changed behavior.
Real Christianity, which has as it’s goal an intimate relationship of love between our Father God and his children, has no place for shame as a motivating force. When our focus is on our relationship with our loving Father we will experience what the Bible calls “Godly sorrow” when discover we have hurt him through sin. Our sorrow comes because we realize we have devalued the relationship by ignoring His word. Our repentance is not a legal transaction but rather, a relational one.
Shame comes by way of Satan and Godly sorrow by way of the Holy Spirit. Repentance, within the relationship with our Father, becomes an act of realization of the affect of our actions upon the relationship. It seeks, not a legal solution, but rather a relational restoration. This is always an occasion for great joy.
Repentance brings an increase of joy!For a very good understanding of Biblical repentance please see my sermons.