Sunday, November 16, 2014

Repentance or Remorse

We all know remorse. It may or may not involve guilt or shame. That sadness at the consequence of our own actions; that sense that were we to be in that self-same situation again, we would try and manage things differently.

My sister reminds me that when she was naughty as a child, I'd reprimand her, not for being naughty, but for being found out.

I expected her remorse but not her repentance.

Repentance means starting again.

We often make the mistake of assuming repentance means remorse, a not liking of what we have done. Maybe sometimes it does. But sometimes it does not.

The real point of repentance is not to want to do it again.

Remorse may or may not induce a heart that is in some degree broken.

Repentance requires a heart that is renewed.

Renewed, not perfect. When a flame burns bright it is the impurities in the air that give it that brilliant yellow hue.

When we place the pure blue flame of the Holy Spirit on the altar of our hearts it burns yellow-orange-red hot in the broken vessel within which it is contained.

But none the less it burns bright and strong and wondrous.

So bright that no storm can ever extinguish it. You alone can damp it down.

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