The way of repentance is the way of love, and love always unites us with God… There is nothing else we can desire or need, and nothing else that can give us greater joy.
True repentance, then, is not an expression of fear, self-hate or of a neurotic sense of guilt, but an ordinary , simple, natural way of loving God. It is a meeting with God, who has loved us infinitely, whom we love and whose beauty and perfection we long to see, from whom we are separated by sin. True repentance, holy repentance, is the way of love. It is only possible when we stand before the face of God and are moved “out of our minds,” beyond the confines of our little narrow selves, by our longing for him.
-Irma Zaleski, The Way of Repentance
Every true encounter with God reveals our brokenness. – Matt Brown
But we must remind ourselves that repentance is not bearing guilt,
but calling for mercy and healing. -Irma Zaleski
The tears which flow from our eyes from time to time are illustrations of the tears which Jesus shed as he looked down upon Jerusalem and lamented, “How often I would have gathered you to myself as a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not” (Matthew 23:27). They are signs of the pain in God’s heart when even one sheep goes astray. Tears are an acknowledgement of the Fall, but as they flow from a truly-repentant heart, they are also the first signs of hope. The dam of sinful resistance has collapsed and the Water of Life can now flow. – Steve Harper, The Water of Repentance
Repentance is the doorway to the spiritual life, the only way to begin. It is also the path itself, the only way to continue. Anything else is foolishness and self-delusion. Only repentance is both brute-honest enough, and joyous enough, to bring us all the way home. – Frederica Mathewes-Green, The Illumined Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation
I’m certain of this – that if my conscience were burdened with all the sins it’s possible to commit, I would still go and throw myself into our Lord’s arms, my heart all broken up with contrition; I know what tenderness He has for any prodigal son of His who comes back to Him. –Therese of Lisieux
There are few who will believe in and accept the forgiveness of God so completely as to let God bury their sins in God’s forgiving mercy; or who, having once accepted that forgiveness, will leave their sin with God forever. They are always reopening the vault where they have deposited their sin, and are forever asking to have it back in order to fondle it; reconstruct, query, or worry over it; wear it inwardly. Thus their sin ties them to the past and finally dooms their lives in both the present and the future. … Forgiveness … can only be received by those who will accept its conditions. To be cleansed and to accept the cleansing, then to move on into the present and the future as a forgiven and restored one, is the gift of the deepest prayer. – Douglas V. Steere, Dimensions of Prayer
Properly speaking, there are especially two kinds of compunction: for the soul that thirsts for God is first sorry in his heart from fear, and then, from love.
–Gregory the Great
Just as joy for the world’s sake has a sorrow that accompanies it, so also godly tears are a seed of perpetual and unending joy. – John Chrysostom
The mere renunciation of sins is not sufficient for the salvation of penitents,
but fruits worthy of repentance are also required of them. – Basil the Great
Repentance involves turning toward God. It brings reconnection with God and redirection of our lives. Usually it encompasses a broken heart for the way we have lived without God, remorse for the ways we have wandered away from God, and now a new desire to love God and to live for God. … Repentance means rethinking our lives, the complete turnaround of our mind and outlook, and a new willingness to place God at the center of our lives. We once refused to let God be God; when we repent, we now want God to be God in our hearts, our relationships, and our work. The outcome of true repentance is always joy – the deep joy of knowing that we are reconciled and restored to God’s family. – Trevor Hudson, Holy Spirit Here and Now
Before we can hear God’s “Go!” we must first hear God’s “Stop!” It comes to us in one word: repent. The word (metanoia) fundamentally means to change. It includes the confession of sin, but it is broader than that. Essentially, God’s call to repent comes to us in this question, “Are you willing to look at life in a new way?” It is the question God is asking us, individually and collectively, right now. – Steve Harper, Stop Now
Get Your Geek On
In Biblical Hebrew, the idea of repentance is represented by two verbs: shuv (to return) and nicham (to feel sorrow). To repent therefore is to realize our need of healing and forgiveness and to respond by doing a mental, spiritual and physical 180. We turn from walking in our own ways and walk with God, according to God’s words and ways. You can think of this horizontally, like making a u-turn, or vertically, as if your way of looking at the world and responding to the world is now turned right side up. The entire process is covered in God’s grace- God helps us to realize our need (prevenient grace), God forgives and heals (justifying grace), and God empowers us to turn and live in a new way (sanctifying grace).
Repentance definition from the Eaton Bible Dictionary
There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.) The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3). (2.) Metanoeo, meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with (3) the cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.