If this season has taught me anything, other than my new hatred for the phrase “unprecedented times,” it’s that I need rhythm. The hardest part of our new isolation, for me, has been the disruption of my daily schedule into seemingly a lot of uncertainty and chaos.
In an attempt to right the ship that is my work-life balance, homeschooling, Netflix-binging, and churchgoing, I came across some daily rituals of a variety of people. Some wake early and get to work immediately before the rest of their house wakes, providing them some uninterrupted head-down work time. Others find time to spend hours on the water or to go for a run. One of the most intriguing I found was George Whitefield’s nightly ritual he would walk through before ending the day:
Have I looked down on anyone?
Have I been too stung by criticism?
Have I spoken or thought unkindly about anyone?
Have I avoided people or tasks that I know I should face?
Am I doing what I’m doing for God’s glory?
These are only a sample of his lengthy list of questions that would force reflection on the day, in hopes of leading a better day the next. If we truly examine our hearts, these can be difficult questions to answer honestly! This process is a refining, ongoing process, and in Whitefield’s case, a nightly process. This is what it looks like to repent.
I think it’s safe to say that no one likes repentance. Yet, repentance is at the forefront of our faith—and was of such importance that Martin Luther listed it first among his famous ninety-five theses he nailed to the door, sparking the Protestant Reformation. You see, repentance is not meant to be a one-and-done thing, but an ongoing, continual process of making yourself whole. It is tough but important work. Repentance is “the stripping away of all that you are, changing your habits, your thoughts, your actions, your feelings, behaviors, and prayers—all that you are to be more like Jesus every single day.”
Bible Studies for Life has created a new, free eBook in our how-to series! How to Repent walks through biblical examples of how John the Baptist, Daniel, and David repented and how you too can join in this restorative process. Download it obligation-free by filling out the form below: