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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost


August 11, 2011 - Regret or Repentance?

By Bob Caldwell

Too often it seems as if public figures caught in wrongdoing are not truly sorry for their bad actions. Rather, they express “regret” for their “lapse in judgment” or offer up some such phrase. The amount of sorrow in these public regrets is open to question, but that is not the point. What I would like to point out is the difference between regret and repentance.

It is easy to regret things we have done without any particular emotional commitment to it. I can regret not doing something sooner, but that doesn’t mean that I will act more promptly next time. I can regret saying something I said, but not be changed so that it won’t happen again.

Regret is to repentance like wishing is to faith. When I regret, I wish that I had done something different. Repentance is different, however. When I allow God to move upon me, I can be broken for my sin. When I am broken, I can look to Him in faith for the grace to truly change.

Repentance is the first concept of the gospel message. When John called out in the wilderness, his message was “repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15, NIV). After Jesus was baptized, He immediately went into the desert to be tempted by the devil. When He returned, He began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17). When the Twelve were sent out to prepare the way for Jesus, “They preached that people should repent” (Mark 6:12). On the Day of Pentecost, Peter instructed the crowds to “repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38).

In Romans 6-8, Paul presents the concept of not being merely forgiven of our sins, but of being free from them and their grip. One key is repentance — turning away from sin and devoting ourselves to God’s ways.

Let’s move beyond the mere emotional experience of regret and experience the freedom of repentance.

— Bob Caldwell is a freelance writer and educator living in Springfield, Mo.




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