Repentence. To turn around, to change one’s mind, to feel sorrow for sin. A complete turn around. To recognize and take full responsibility for my sinful actions. To stop moving my way, turn around, to express sorrow, regret and remorse for my actions, or lack of actions, whatever the sin may be and I move forward, God’s way. It’s important to get clear here on the first Sunday of Advent before the frenzy of Christmas Day.
Allen Hunt, an American Catholic author and speaker says this: “It’s important to get clear on what matters most and what matters least. That’s what repentance does. It brings clarity, self awareness and humility.” We have a tendency to turn away from God by the choices we make, we nudge God aside and put ourselves at the centre of the universe. That part of us that thinks we don’t need God. We put ourselves where God alone should be. That part of us that causes us to resist or reject what is right, even to reject God Himself.
Sometimes it’s our pride. We think so much of ourselves, that other people aren’t as significant as we are. We think about ourselves, we compare ourselves to other people and spiritual arrogance is probably the worst sin of all. Because instead of having God at the centre of our lives, we replace Him with self.
Or maybe you and I need to repent of anger, an uncontrollable emotion that gets away from us. Or maybe it’s lust, passions that are so uncontrollable that they govern our lives. You and I live in such a sex crazed culture, where pornography is mainstream and is a billion dollar global industry. The problem, says Allen Hunt, “isn’t so much society, as it is in the wayward human heart.”