This is a common response in our household when I correct one of my children--rather than accepting responsibility, they're quick to blame someone else for their failure.
I understand this tendency—I don't think anyone particularly enjoys admitting they were wrong. Having to confront our failures and inadequacies can be difficult and ignoring them or sweeping them under the carpet can feel easier—at least initially. I've learned the hard way that what we try to cover up festers, but what we allow God to cover over is transformed.
In Acts 3, Peter exhorted those who had just witnessed him and John heal a crippled man to, "Repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (v. 19, NASB).
Repentance. It's not the most popular of words or concepts yet without it, we are robbed of God's refreshing presence. Sin cannot go unchecked—the dirt and mess of our lives obstruct the flow of His Living Water in our lives and we find ourselves dry and empty. Yes, repentance and refreshing go hand-in-hand.
Repentance itself simply means to change one's mind [for the better]; heartily to amend with the abhorrence of one's past sin. In order to change our minds, we have to first acknowledge that something is broken and that there is a better way--God's way. Our salvation begins with repentance, and our sanctification—the process of becoming like Christ—requires us to keep allowing God to change our thinking. Repentance is not an isolated event but a lifestyle that we are called to embrace.
There is a lightness that enters our hearts when we keep short accounts with God; when we allow Him to correct us and to wipe our sin away.
As we begin a new week, let us allow God to cleanse us of the grime of the old one. Let us tarry in His presence and allow Him to examine our hearts and show us a better way—a refreshing way.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Weekly nuggets of inspiration, Monday Musings are short Scripture-based thoughts to encourage you to draw close to God and pursue His purposes throughout the week. Subscribe to get them direct to your inbox here.