What Is Repentance?

   This article is a continuation of a series on the 12 Steps for anonymous groups. This month, I want to walk through steps 6 and 7. “We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character” and “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.” These steps require the discipline of repentance.

   Repentance is a word that is hurled around like a Frisbee and is often used as a club, a control tactic or a shaming tool. As a result, some people run to Webster’s Dictionary to make sense of it and find out that Webster does define “repent” as feeling sorry or self-reproachful for something we have done or not done. The problem is, Webster’s does not correctly define the Biblical definition of the Greek word we translate into English, as “repent.” Now, I could give a quick Greek dictionary definition to the word and still be inaccurate because of how long and often this word has been misused, by so many, even well-meaning people. So, bear with me and through some Scripture and what I have learned from Steps 6 and 7, I hope to convey that repentance is not just an act we perform or a feeling we feel but rather a discipline we learn and train ourselves to do, lifelong, with God’s help.

   In the Old Testament, a great and highly regarded commander of Aram’s army, Naaman, at the urging of his Israelite wife, went to see Elisha, a prophe ...

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