Many people have a negative view of repentance and misunderstand its meaning, associating it with shame or remorse. The Greek word for repentance is μετάνοια (metanoia), which means a change of mind; to think differently afterward. Repentance is not the act of being shamed but rather God trying to invite us into a full life. When we are aware of our sin, there is a brokenness that comes to light and a response is necessary. God doesn’t desire a strictly emotional response (although Godly sorrow does bring about repentance); He wants is to change our mind for the better. God not only wants us to stop doing sinful things—He wants us to start doing good! Repentance is the root of turning to God.
Repentance is a continual effort. We repent before baptism but the process continues afterward as well.
2 Corinthians 7:10 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Romans 12:2 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Psalm 51:16-17 16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Acts 26:20 20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.
Revelation 2:5 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.