A son in a large family resented his youngest brother. Whenever he thought the "baby" of the family was receiving special treatment, he would whack him on the head. Then, as soon as his younger brother started crying, he'd say, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. Please don't tell Mom and Dad." This scenario of hitting him and then saying he was sorry went on for several weeks.
One day the older brother walloped him and followed up with his usual insincere apology. "This time I really mean it. Please don't tell Mom and Dad. I'm really, really sorry." The younger brother said, "I just want to know when you're going to be sorry enough to quit!"
Repentance means to have a change of heart, which changes the way you behave. It doesn’t mean to be sorry, but being sorry enough to quit what you’re doing. Second Corinthians 7:10 says, "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death." Regret wishes it could change the consequences of past failures. Repentance wants to change future behavior so that past sins won’t be repeated.
Repentance is making a decision in your heart that you want to please God more than yourself, which changes the way you think, speak, and act. Trying to change your behavior without first changing your heart is getting the cart before the horse. You have the order backward. If you try to change your actions without first having a change of heart, it won’t be long before you return to your old ways.
If you have tried to change but are unable to do it, you must surrender to your Higher Power—the God who has more power than you. Only the Holy Spirit can give you the power to live like Him. When you make that decision in your heart to surrender all to Him, you’ve just repented.
Prayer of Repentance: “Lord, I realize that I’m not living in a way that pleases you. I want my life to change but I don’t have the power within myself to do that. Jesus, I surrender my life to you and I ask you to give me the power to change. Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for hearing my prayer.”
For a deeper study on repentance, click on this link: What Does It Mean to Repent?
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068