Tuesday, September 13, 2011

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The Difference Between Repentance and Remorse

How do we respond after we sin? This chart above illustrates the difference between remorse and biblical repentance.  They can have similar external expressions, but at their core they are fundamentally different.

Repentance is significantly different than remorse. Repentance is a change of direction: a confession of sin, followed by the desire to make restitution, rebuild relationships and, in general, make everything right. The evidences of repentance will be:
  • acknowledging his sin honestly (Ps 51:2-3; 1 Jn 1:9);
  • discontinuing the sinful behavior which initiated the discipline (James 5:19-20);
  • seeking biblical counsel, if needed, to gain victory over sinful patterns of behavior (Acts 26:20);
  • making financial restitution, if necessary (Luke 19:8);
  • initiating confession and asking forgiveness from all parties involved (Matt 5:23-24);
  • exhibiting a spirit of humility and brokenness, revealing a true work of God’s Spirit (Ps 51:17).