Repentance and Guilt Are Very Different Things

Anonymous asked:

Can you repent on behalf of another person?

I answered:

No you cannot. That is because of what the biblical concept of repentance actually means.  

A lot of people have this idea that repenting is emotional. It is about being crushed by the weight of your inequity, being devastated by the enormity of the guilt,  and showing God how super sorry you are in a big display. None of that has anything to do with repentance.

The greek word that is translated “repent” in the New Testament (for example, Matthew 4:17 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”) is the word “metanoeo.” The word means “to change one’s mind.” 

Repentance is not about the negative emotions that come from doing something wrong, it is about the decision to do something new. All that time spent wallowing in guilt and self loathing is not only not repentance, it keeps you from moving on to actual repentance- moving on to the right thing.

 

-Matt from The Bridge

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