To repent means to agree with a person’s view that differs from your own, and to turn your way of thinking and actions to it.
For me, it goes like this: God is there and is the creator of all. So isn’t it reasonable to think that He knows what is best for me as His creation?
So why do I typically ignore Him in favor of my opinion?
So I will try an experiment. I am going to try things His way. Maybe I’ll call it a fast from pride. Or arrogance. The thinking that I know best.
There are certain things that I want to see more of in my life. I want to treat others better. Make better decisions for me and my family. And I want to know Him better.
I want the fruit of the Holy Spirit to hallmark my life. I don’t want others to remember me only for my constant mistakes and blunders.
The Fruit of the Spirit:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
Galatians 5: 23
I want the fullness of the life in Christ Jesus formed in me. Too often, I find something very less savory in there. Change, transformation, and healing are needed.
A fast usually means to abstain from eating food. But there are other things to fast from. Consider this from Isaiah:
“This is the kind of day of fasting that I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
and cancel debts.”
Isaiah 58: 6 (The Message)
This fast is to rest from wrong-doing. Oppression. Injustice. This requires repentance: agreement with the law of the King of heaven and the courage to act on it. Often, repentance brings sorrow with it in the realization that what you are doing is damaging to others.
I know that I am free to do as I please.
So do I flaunt my freedom, bought by an innocent at such astounding cost, so that I may continue in that which is harmful to the world around me?
But you see, I am sorrowful. I see firsthand the pain that I cause. I see when my hasty words make my daughter’s face fall. Or when my arrogance causes a friend to withdraw. Or my sharp tongue kindles the anger of my wife (I really do try to avoid that one at all costs! )
These are reminders that God is right. That is why I want to change. To say to God, “You know best.” To take a break, a fast, from that which would cause harm. But all too often, I instead want to prove that my actions and attitudes are ok.
And it is such defensiveness that hardens me and perpetuates the problem. I want to do whatever it is that I want to do and no more. But wait–something new has entered the picture–a new ingredient has emerged in the recipe.
I’m starting to care more about what my Creator thinks than what I do. To want what He wants over my own desires. To want what is best for my loved ones and friends–just like my Daddy does.
I want to agree that He knows best.
After all, am I able to measure the universe from one end to the other? Can I tell Him how He formed the earth’s foundation? What holds the stars in place? How I can breathe without thinking? What keeps me alive? How do the substances of a man and woman combine to form a whole new, unique human life?
It is increasingly important to me to please Him. Even though I have surety of forgiveness of sins through Jesus, I still want special favor from my Daddy.
But, when does a father give special rewards to apathetic children? Do you give your children prizes for poor school work, or for not doing their chores at home? Why do you think that God will reward you for ignoring what He wants, especially when what He wants is always for your good and for that of others?
I want to prove my love by obedience.
Therefore, I need to strip myself of pride and step back for a long look at the things that God says are good for me and you, and walk in them.
To fast from pride is what it takes to see a little more goodness in this world. To find more peace and more joy.
Don’t we all need a little more of those? As it is, they are scarce enough in the world. What would you do to see more good in your life, and in the lives of your loved ones?
Maybe fasting from pride will starve it out, leaving behind nothing but old bones? Squeeze it out of existence and just leave the good stuff? At least for me it is not likely. But if it helps, even a little, then I’m sure that my wife, kids, friends, and neighbors won’t mind at all.
Let’s strive to set aside our own ways, attitudes, and agendas that are in conflict with ones endorsed by God. In this way, we will prove His wisdom, goodness, and make His name great!