So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent.
There’s one word in this verse that grabs my attention the most. All. All should repent. This word doesn’t symbolize those who have yet to experience a personal relationship with Jesus. It isn’t referring to those who do not attend church on a regular basis. The word isn’t meant for only Protestants or Catholics.
Each of us is called to a daily life of repentance. This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect to receive Jesus’ love. It means we make a conscious decision to live a life that glorifies God. We all, regardless of how long we have been following Jesus, have something in our daily life we need to turn away from in order to follow Him more closely.
Now that we have established who it is in need of repentance, we should focus a little more on what this entails. Repentance is not an event. It’s a process. Every day there’s something we need to be working on as a member of God’s family. For some of us, this might be the words we use. Others may have a specific activity that has gained too much control of their life. Many of us need to change the way we treat and talk to others. This isn’t something that takes place overnight.
Any time there is something you are wanting to get rid of, it needs to be replaced with something else. This may mean additional time in prayer. Spending more time each day in Scripture may be needed. For many of us, the simple act of spending time recognizing what it is we need to repent of is a solid start.
If you know enough to realize repentance needs to be a more significant part of your life and you’re not sure where to begin, spend some time talking to God about it in prayer. When growing closer to God first became important to me, my life was a mess. Every area of my life was in need of an overhaul. I didn’t know what I was ready to handle and what commitments would be more than I could handle at the time.
While repentance is needed, setting yourself up for failure can lead to pushing yourself even further from God. As I mentioned earlier, this is a process. There are going to be both ups and downs. The important thing is that you use repentance as a means of growing closer to Jesus. Tell Him when you are struggling and ask for forgiveness when there’s a slip. While we should never condemn ourselves, there’s nothing wrong with feeling pain over what we’re experiencing.
The more you open your heart to Jesus through repentance, the more you’re able to experience His presence inside of you.