In my last post (January 24th), Repentance – Change by Turning, I discussed my Spiritual Director’s simple, but profound, explanation of repentance. She described repentance, for the Christ follower, as a series of small changes in which we ‘turn from…’ in order to ‘turn toward….’
I also told you I know my soul has changed in significant ways during the past five decades. I realize some changes occurred naturally because of the perspective age and maturity brings, but many of my soul’s changes are the result of repentance.
Today, I’d like to give you personal insights related to my experience with repentance, beginning with what I call Sue’s A-B-C’s of Repentance:
Commitment to Change
Years ago, I was introduced to a concept that helped me understand how people change. In the Proshaska and Di Clemente Process of Change Model, the first stage of change is ‘pre-contemplative.’ In other words, I cannot change something of which I’m unaware. Awareness is essential if I’m to work on
changing an unbeneficial behavior,
‘turning away from’ thinking that isn’t God honoring, or
altering an attitude or activity that isn’t Christlike.
Next, is Buy-In. Although I’m not particularly rebellious, I don’t respond well to authoritarianism and don’t learn well when told what I “must” do or “should” believe. Especially in matters of the soul, I think deeply about ideas and concepts presented. I learn best and become ‘willing to be willing’ through a process of discovery—or Buy-in.
Finally, when I feel a certain spiritual teaching or practice does not violate what I believe are Christian bottom-lines, and when a teaching or practice resonates in my spirit, then I’m ready to Commit to Change.
Since I believe this is such an important concept, I will continue the discussion in my next blogs and will give you examples of areas of personal repentance. If what I’ve written in the last two posts resonates with you, I think you’ll benefit from some real-life experiences.
Wherever you are in your faith journey, my prayer is that you will consider an area in your own life where God may be inviting you to ‘turn from…’ in order to ‘turn toward’ divine faith, hope and love.
- http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-Modules/SB/BehavioralChangeTheories/BehavioralChangeTheories6. ↑
- “Christian bottom-lines” for me can be found in Christian creeds such as Apostles Creed https://www.ccel.org/creeds/apostles.creed; or Nicene Creed https://www.ccel.org/creeds/nicene.creed. ↑