Repentance is Like Taking out the Trash
Updated: Feb 19
“I may have sold my soul to the devil,” he said. “Can I be forgiven for that?”
The short answer…Yes.
I led this young man through a prayer of repentance, renouncing his ties to the enemy and acknowledging Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He left a happy and free man. While that’s on the extreme end, repentance always is a happy word, with happy results.
Repentance is like taking out the trash. It must happen routinely, or your life will be filled with debris and stink.
I love the word repent. It’s not just for the major issues, but the minor ones too. If we can just wrap our heads around the beauty of God’s provision for our tendency to mess things up, we can live joyful lives filled with hope instead of despair, peace instead of anxiety, freedom instead of addiction.
When we come to God for the first time in our lives, we repent generally for our sinful lifestyle. And the blood of Christ washes us clean! But we’re spiritual babes. Our thoughts and emotions are still trained in the ways of the world and it takes time, tutoring by the Holy Spirit, and an immersion in God’s Word to begin walking in spiritual maturity and victory.
Are you still sinning? Ummm, yes. Till we go home to heaven, it’s part of our human condition… that pesky “original sin” we inherited from Adam and Eve.
I’m better now, and I don’t desire to sin like I used to before coming to Christ, but I do still sin. What is God’s provision for that? How do I keep from condemning myself over my failures?
The blood of Christ cleanses all sin. His atonement death on the cross spans time, backwards and forwards. His blood covers our sins from beginning to end. But when we sin, we need to acknowledge and confess it to God. It’s the only way we will grow and gain freedom to walk in victory.
The blood of Christ is the only way to freedom from our own consciences!
Our consciences can condemn us for failing, no matter the sin. Whether it’s a huge moral failure, a lie, pride or arrogance, angry words at our children or spouse, spreading a rumor, or a host of other potential messes, we tend to beat ourselves up constantly for our failures.
Repentance is the key
Repent to God and let Him cleanse your conscience: “Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” Hebrews 9:14 NLT
I remember a time in sixth grade like it was yesterday. I stayed in from recess with a couple of other students to finish an assignment while our teacher Mrs. Brown and the other children went outside. As I was turning in my paper, one of the other students in the classroom dared me to look at the teacher’s grade book which was open on her desk.
I know, not a biggie. But I was racked with guilt that evening and finally confessed to my mother. She said I needed to go to Mrs. Brown and tell her. I didn’t sleep much that night. The next morning, I went in early and tearfully confessed. Mrs. Brown was kind and offered her forgiveness, thanking me for my honest admission.
I realize now she probably had to hide her smile. Maybe it wasn’t a serious infraction in the eyes of the world, but to my young heart, I had committed a bad sin and her forgiveness meant everything.
No matter the severity of our sin or the depth of our anguish, God offers the same washing away of guilt and shame. Every time.
What a gift…repentance.
For more info, see my last blog on, "Repentance: The Healthy Process of Spiritual Potty Training."