The Alphabet of Us: R is for Repent… April 6, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog


Building block R

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

“It’s not my fault.”

Those words sound so sweet to my ears whenever I suddenly find myself cramped up with guilt over some piece of stupidity which has caught up with me and now demands my full attention.

Matter of fact, the sentiment of “it’s not my fault” is so popular that both the religious and the secular communities have adapted it into their own particular mission statements.

In the secular world, it’s, “Relax. You were born that way.”

In the religious community, it becomes, “Relax. You were born again this way, and grace covers your sins.”

Humanity seemingly takes a deep breath of gratitude and resumes activities without change.

Yet a humanity appeased never finds real peace.

70+ years of daily life requires much more attention than a simple Hallmark-card-statement of “I’m OK.”

  • Successful people repent.
  • Losers make excuses.

But what is repentance? What does it mean to repent? Are we talking about crying and confessing our deep-rooted faults in front of some priest or counselor? Is repentance kneeling before God to admit your frailty and weakness?

Actually, a spiritual and historical look at repentance offers us a three-fold, interwoven process:

1. Come to myself.

Nothing happens in our lives without personally discovering the reality of our lacking on our own. Whether you’re speaking of the Prodigal Son or a criminal who decides to turn himself in to avoid the ongoing pain of running from the law, there is a moment in each case when they realize that they’re better off admitting the truth of the situation than continuing to avoid revelation.

2. Come to others.

There is an abiding principle that lingers in the truth of all time, which informs us that it is useless to try to have a relationship with God unless you have first mended your relationship with your fellow-humans.

We must always recall that we are to be reconciled with those who are angry with us before we bring our gift to any altar for spiritual redemption.

I first owe it to myself to admit my weakness; then I owe it to those I have offended, to let them know that I have made a discovery and I’m on the mend.

3. And finally, come to God.

Even after coming into synchronicity with reality, having acknowledged my error and then sharing it with those who were affected, I still need to be cleansed of my unrighteousness in order to resume a life of good cheer.

Without good cheer, self-pity will soon wrangle me to the ground for a repeat performance of my foolishness.

If you are human, you cannot live without the valuable transformation to repent.

But to repent, you have to reject all notions that you have no fault in the matter, come to yourself, come to others and then come to God … to be washed whiter than snow.

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