Repent or Perish
Confession time...I get angry. I feel anger and I give in to my anger. Most times I don’t understand why I am angry in the first place but it is a very difficult emotion for me to shake. I try deep breaths, I try taking a break and walking away, I even say “Jesus” repeatedly but I still have a hard time shaking it. When I do give in, it is not pretty and the people I love the most suffer from my sin.
The word of God has a few things to say in regard to anger:
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20)
“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (Proverbs 29:11)
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17-18)
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)
As I read through these scriptures I feel convicted, guilty, and sad. I also feel the motivation to change. Deep down I feel desperate to change my ways. Jesus shares a simple and very clear answer to how we should handle our sin:
“There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’” (Luke 13:1-5)
Jesus’ simple answer is to repent! According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary repent means :
1: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life
2 a: to feel regret or contrition
b: to change one's mind
Not only is Jesus calling us to turn from sin, He is also calling us to Him. To repent means to turn around, to confess and walk away from the sin that holds us captive and into His loving arms.
Anger can consume my heart and the overflow is not kind, gentle, or patient. I am tired of giving in to anger. I am tired of holding on to control. I desire to let go of this hold on my life. I am desperate for change. Jesus, help me.
Are you tired of sinning? Cry out to Jesus! Repent! Turn to Him! He is waiting with open arms. (Take time now to read about the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32). We are never too far away. He will always welcome us back!
“I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:18-20)