II Corinthians 7:8 (NKJV) For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Because we desire to be more like Jesus, we make resolutions, ask the Lord to help us, and try to behave differently. Yet despite our best efforts to do things God’s way, we slide back into old habits. Frustrated, we may ask Him, “Why can’t I change?” The reason is, overcoming sinful attitudes and behaviors starts with genuine repentance, which has three aspects.

Conviction- The Holy Spirit will reveal the areas in which we have sinned and convict us of wrongdoing. Through Scripture, the Spirit shows us God’s standard and what needs to change. Repentance begins with understanding where we have gone astray. We must take inventory of ourselves for this to take place.

Contrition- The next step, grieving over our iniquity; is followed by confession to the Lord. Genuine sorrow arises from the knowledge that we have sinned against the Lord. In contrast, human unhappiness often comes from being caught misbehaving. Other times we are miserable because of where our choices led us, or feel a sense of shame that people know about our sin. True contrition is followed by humble confession. We feel ashamed and then make a choice to correct our wrong actions.

Commitment to Act- Real repentance is complete when we wholeheartedly pledge to turn from our old behavior and move toward righteous ways. God knows we won’t live perfectly, but the Lord looks for a surrendered heart that diligently seeks to obey Him. This is called realignment with God.

In his letter to the Colossians Paul used strong language when telling us to turn from iniquity: “Put to death… whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Col. 3:5 NIV). What sin are you struggling to overcome? Have you genuinely repented, committing to turn from it permanently? Yes I know it’s not easy, but it is necessary. Let the Holy Spirit empower you to change. Have a wonderful day family of God.

For His Kingdom,
Pastor James

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