Repentance and Forgiveness

The theme at church this morning was repentance and forgiveness.  I’m not always sure how to respond to that particular theme.  I’m told that I need to believe in Jesus to be saved.  Do I truly believe in Jesus?  How do I know that Christianity is even true?  And how do I repent?  Can I truly change and eliminate every flaw from my life?  Does God even change people?  If so, then where has he been in my life?  I can think of plenty of times in my life when I wished that I could feel God’s nearness, but what I felt instead was fear.  Why hasn’t God taken away my fear of people?

I’m not entirely sure what I believe right now, but I do think that there are simple steps that I can take each day.  I can identify things that I have thought and have done that strike me as wrong.  I can ask God to forgive me, and for the strength to have better thoughts and deeds.  And maybe, as I recognize my own flaws, I can become more understanding and charitable when it comes to my view of others.

But it’s a struggle.  I no longer impose on myself a standard of absolute perfection.  But I do have thoughts that, well, I don’t think are particularly healthy for me—-thoughts of bitterness and unforgiveness of others, for example.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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