“I was talking with one of my neighbors last night,” Stan began. “He has been trying to teach his teenage son how to drive.”
“Oh,” I replied, “that can always be an adventure!”
“Sure can,” Stan answered,”and my neighbor said that the last driving lesson included a lesson for his son’s beginning faith walk.”
“In what way?”
“The need to straighten the steering wheel after making a u-turn,” Stan replied.
“I’m not sure I follow,” I said.
“It has to do with repentance,” he responded. “It seems that my neighbor was teaching his son how to make a u-turn safely, when his son didn’t straighten out the steering wheel after making a u-turn.”
“So he headed back in the direction he came from?” I commented.
“That’t it,” Stan said. “And it’s the same thing with repentance for each one of us, especially me. If, after I repent, which is like making a life u-turn, I don’t straighten out the steering wheel of my life, I will be back where I was heading in the same direction before beginning the u-turn of repentance.”
“And if I never straighten out the steering wheel,” I added, “I will just be going in circles. How do I avoid that?”
“I like to think about it as being part of what Jesus said about the three steps of discipleship.”
“It’s like the first step of denying self, is the part of deciding to repent. The second step of taking up what God has for me to take up is the step of straightening out the steering wheel after making the u-turn.”
“And the third step,” I added, “the step of following Jesus would be the part of keeping going in the direction God intends after I have made the u-turn of repentance. Right?”
“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied with a smile.
Bible verses to consider:
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4.
For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10.
Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with your repentance. Luke 3:8.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of repentance, both in the sense of repenting and accepting by faith your free and gracious gift of life eternally with you, along with the repentance on this side of eternity that consists of continually drawing closer to you by making the u-turns in my life that you have for me to make. I confess that too often my repentance does not last and I end up going the same direction I was headed before attempting the u-turn. I need and I ask for all of the help you can kindly provide in leading my repentance. Please lead and help me follow. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you repented in the sense of having accepted by faith the free and gracious gift of life eternally with God when it’s time? If no, why? What is holding you back? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with the day-to-day repentance that is involved in living the Christian life on this side of eternity? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense your are being called to make repentance u-turns, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want to happen? Why or why not?