A mother was working with her son on his spelling words. She asked him if he knew the difference between the words conscious and conscience.
He replied, “Yes, conscious is when I am aware of something and conscience is when I wish I wasn’t.”
The year is coming to an end. There may be some things that went badly or that we wish we had handled differently. Our conscience reminds us of things that we need to change or people we have hurt.
Repentance is a process of tidying up our lives so that we don’t have a lot of loose ends at the end. It is doing away with some things so that the final result is glorious.
“For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.” 2 Cor 3:11 I like the idea that repentance leaves us with the more glorious parts of our selves.
We have two selves. The outward self is mortal, sensual and prone to mischief. The inward self is immortal, spiritual and sensitive to truth. Which of your two selves is in control? Sometimes the battle is internal.
In repentance, “the outward man perish[es].” And though this process hurts a little, it is “but for a moment [and] worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Cor 4:16-17
Let go of darkness and let the glory in.
Christ makes our purification possible. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Cor 5:17 He has the power to renew and resurrect the mortal body. He also has the power to renew and perfect the spirit. We can engage that power here and now. Renewal is a powerful process made possible by the Prince of Peace.
I myself have had to do a lot of repenting this year. After years of handling things in my family relationships badly, it is time to tidy up my life. I have made some major changes in my marriage, and renewed my dedication to the success of my children. I could just sit around and wish for things to get better, or resign myself to the status quo but I have the privilege of agency. It is no surprise that things have fallen into disrepair. Entropy is a natural law. It is my choice to build, repair and repent. I have set goals and kept track of my progress and I have seen some small signs of growth. Renewal is possible with Christ’s help. I might feel “perplexed” at times but “not in despair.” 2 Cor 4:8
I’m making room in my life for an eternal weight of glory.
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Image of peeling paint courtesy Steven Depolo
Image Into Darkness courtesy Sario Reale