Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Repentance vs. Remorse

This topic should speak to everyone.  We all have sin in our lives and all of us require repentance.  Unfortunately, sometimes we only feel remorse for our actions and we don't genuinely repent.  The Bible speaks over and over about repentance.  As I studied about it, I was overwhelmed with all the verses that touched upon the subject.  I loved several of the verses in the book of Luke which there were over a dozen verses in that book alone.  Luke 5:32  "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”   Luke 13:3 " I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.   Luke 15:7 "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." 

  • Repentance is a change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. It typically includes an admission of guilt, a promise or resolve not to repeat the offense; an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible.
  • Remorse is an emotional expression of personal regret felt by a person after he or she has committed an act which they deem to be shameful, hurtful, or violent.
As the definition above mentions, repentance means turning away from your wrong and never going in that direction again.  Some people will make a mistake and apologize yet continue to make the same mistake over and over.  When there is genuine repentance, you experience a broken spirit and you never want to go back to that place in your life.  You are eager to turn from your sin and draw the strength to turn from an almighty God.  Remorse is just a feeling of regret for your action.  If a person feels remorse and doesn't repent, they remain in bondage and will continue to carry the guilt with them.  I love what Jesus said to the woman at the well.  He looked at her and said "go and sin no more".  John 8:11  When we realize we have sinned (and I am speaking from experience), we must move forward and embrace our complete forgiveness (don't ever let the blood of Christ be shed in vain).  If we can remind ourselves of what Jesus said perhaps it would be a little easier.  Sometimes we don't just "go and sin no more", but we go and carry that sin with us - beating ourselves up.  The beautiful thing about true repentance is you turn the other direction away from the sin - never to do it again, never to look back and to be free of it.  Philippians 3:13-14  "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Remorse doesn't offer this kind of freedom.

I want to share a beautiful prayer from David-
 (David was a man after God's own heart, who had tremendous sin in his life):
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."  Psalm 51: 1-12


  1. Great post - I’ve come to learn that with forgiving those who have wronged us and who aren’t remorseful but want to remain in our life, requires from us to very important things if we want to be set free from the Satan’s trap:

    1.Shake the dust from your feet and not looking back – forgiving them
    2.Turning the other cheek and moving on so that you’re not trapped with them in their drama bondage. State your case. Listen to theirs then, don’t try and arguing with a tree for there will be no change

    Your Friend in Christ - Debbie Ward

  2. Thank you sweet friend. I will miss seeing you on Tuesday evenings. :)