"Repent is not a word we are terribly stoked about in our culture. It might be just one notch above STD or "You're fired"....
But what if Jesus said "repent" in a completely different way? For example, imagine that He is looking you in the eye right now and speaks the word.
"Repent," He says. He is smiling, confident.
His eys tell you that He knows you well. His tone of voice hints that one day you'll see that repenting was the best choice you ever made. His body language exudes so much positive energy that you get the sense that He mgith have come halfway around the world just to tell you the news -- "Repent."
If you head it like that , you would receive the word as a gift. It still might now sound like good news, but in the long run, you would find that it was.
To repent means to turn around, to stop what you're doing and do the opposite. To repent means to assume one thing was true, you now know it's wrong -- all wrong -- and you will now believe and act upon something totally different. Repent is a good strong word full of hope and new beginnings. In the context of Jesus' kingdom, repent is an invitation to another world, another life, a way of being that was supposed to be all along and can be now.
...Actually, we need to repent often. We need to repent, for example, of our convenient assumption that following Jesus and pursuing the American Dream are in complete harmony and will take us in pretty much the same direction. They won't. The reality of the kingdom is dangerous and beautiful and life altering.
We need to repent of smugly held beliefs, especially the "enlightened" ones that convince us we have no need to repent. We need to repent of our rightness, our arrogant belief that since we care about goodness -- that we, for example, see genocide as the evil it is -- then we'll see every evil for what it is, including the evil hiding in our own hearts.
Repentance means that we choose to agree only with God's perspective. That He alone is God and He alone can understand the blatant ways in which our own hearts deceive us. Evil that we will never notice exists in us and around us -- yet its' as obvious to God as genocide is to us.
To repent is to say to God: "I'm blind. I don't see, but I want to. Please show me Your heart in everything."
Excerpted from This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley