Repentance is the act of agreeing with God about our sin, turning from it and rejoicing in what God has done for us in Jesus. Most of our repentance is reactive. We repent primarily for the sins that are staring us in the face or the ones that others point out. And honestly, even then, sometimes we delay dealing with our sin.
But what if we weren’t just reactive in dealing with our sin, but proactive? This is a trait we see in many of the godly men and women of the Bible: Josiah (2 Chron. 34), Daniel (Dan 9), and David (Psalm 139:23-24) to name a few.
Why Should Repentance Be Proactive?
But why should we be proactive in repentance? Don’t we only need to repent when God shows us something we’ve done wrong? Why in the world, when everything seems good, would it be beneficial to proactively search for sin to repent of?
John the Baptist said: “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance.” (Luke 3:8) Consider also 1 John 1:8-10: “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”
The goal is not to be perfect and sinless… only Jesus fits in that category. But rather to live a lifestyle of repentance, facing our sinful hearts with boldness, confessing the sin that’s there, and believing the Gospel again and again for those areas of brokenness. It is in that broken place of repentance were the Spirit of God begins to change us. And God LOVES brokenness! He prefers to be with those who are lowly and contrite in spirit and broken over their sin. (Ps 51:16-17, Ps 138:6, Pr 16:9, Is 57:15, Is 66:2, Matt 5:3).