May 2 I Sunday
1 Kings 12-13
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” —1 Peter 1:13 (NASB)
Why is our mind crucial in Christian growth and understanding? Because true repentance begins with the change of mind, and changing our understanding concerns three things. Firstly, changing our mind about God by recognizing that God is God, that He alone is the source of righteousness. Secondly, changing our mind about ourselves in recognizing that we cannot live the life we are supposed to live; we are spiritually bankrupt. Thirdly, changing our mind about our sin; instead of calling it nice names, we call it what it is and reject it.
Although repentance begins with the mind, it does not end there. True repentance involves three things: thought, word and deed. Firstly, thought is what is mentioned above. Secondly, word is when we confess our sins, not disguising them, excusing them, calling them by any other name, or blaming other people for them, but confessing them as they are. Thirdly, deed is things we do out of the consequence of repentance. Doing things is not in itself repentance; otherwise, we would be saved by our works. Instead, deed is a result that comes from the change of mind and confession of our sin, which must lead to a change of behaviour as Luke 3:8 tells us: “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
There was a Peanuts cartoon a couple decades ago that tells the story of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown to kick. Just as Charlie Brown would come running at full pelt to kick the football, Lucy would pull the ball away and Charlie Brown would end up flat on his back. This happened several times until Charlie got so upset that he refused to kick the ball again, saying, “Every time I try to kick the ball you remove it and I fall on my back.” Lucy, eventually, broke down in tears and confessed, “Charlie Brown I have been so terrible to you over the years, picking up the football like I have. I have played so many cruel tricks on you, but I’ve seen the error of my ways! I’ve seen the hurt look in your eyes when I’ve deceived you. I’ve been wrong, so wrong. Won’t you give a poor penitent girl another chance?” Moved by Lucy’s rhetoric and display of grief, Charlie Brown said, “Of course, I’ll give you another chance.” Lucy held the ball and Charlie Brown came running to kick it with all his might. Once again, Lucy pulled the ball away and Charlie Brown is flat on his back. Lucy’s parting words were, “Recognizing your faults and actually changing your ways are two different things, Charlie Brown!”
May we bear witness to a true repentance by accompanying our changed thoughts with actions.
Prayer: Almighty God, I acknowledge that I have failed to be the person You created me to be. Forgive me of my sin and help me change my ways to follow after You. Thank You, God.