Repentance precedes Forgiveness
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” ( Luke 15: 7)
Christ’s parables in Luke chapter 15 demonstrate how necessary it is for us to repent of our sins: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. We are on the road to redemption when realization dawns that we offend our Maker and Creator when we disobey His commands. As we are commanded to honour our father and mother, our earthly parents, we are directed to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and minds, and our neighbours as ourselves. It is He who will forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. It is the love in our hearts for God that predisposes us to love others, even when they don’t deserve it. But do we deserve His forgiveness? We do not know and that is why it is prudent to do what He requires of us. He knows best and He knows the act of forgiveness will make us better sons and daughters of Christ, better children of God, better husbands or wives, better co-workers, better persons to be around, better neighbours and better Christians, in or out of the Church.
We hear these words in our sermons and we nod our heads in agreement, but do we put them into practice or just fall into the same mould of dysfunctional behaviour and antagonistic attitude? It is necessary and important to change our behaviour to reflect what our Saviour requires of us. That will allow us to find the peace which passes all understanding and keep our hearts and mind in Christ Jesus.