The modern day idea of repentance is “doing the right thing,” “turning from sin,” “avoiding evil,” “feeling regret,””acknowledging our faults before God,” “process of correction and refinement,” “being different,” “changing behavior,” “being sorry for something,” “turning from wrong doing,” “turn or burn,” “confessing sin,” “changing behavior,” “a 180 degree change in direction,” or saying and really meaning “I’m sorry.”
Above is the modern day idea of repentance. That’s my main point here, the first things that come into many of our minds when we think of repentance are all about behavior, actions, and a single moment in time.
In the New Testament we find the word repentance (or repent) in our English translation in the neighborhood of 50+ (remember quick blog – there may be more) times.
In the New Testament the word translated as “Repentance” Metanoeo / Metanoia means to change your mind. It doesn’t automatically mean to change your mind about sin, or turn around, or feel sorrow, or behave differently – in fact the behavior isn’t always the problem. For example a person can be doing the right things for all the wrong reasons and he or she may still need to metanoeo (change their thinking).
So the two things that I wanted to say in this rushed blog are,
- We might to better to say “Open your mind or burn” than to say “Turn or burn!”
- This repentance (Metanoeo / Metanoia) that the scriptures speak of is not a one time event but a process that we should live in daily.
Changing our minds is a daily process, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Maybe Paul is encouraging us to be open to truth more than we thought!
Sometimes after taking some heat from the religious friends in my life, I reflect on how much I’ve changed theologically over the years and I realize that METANOEO is happening in my life.
If your thinking hasn’t changed over the last few years, if you are still looking for that old time religion that you heard as a child, maybe you are resisting METANOEO.