Soul Food for Friday: Quotes on Repentance

A rabbi was walking along with some of his students when one asked, “Rabbi, when should a man repent?”

The rabbi replied, “You should repent on the last day of your life.”

The student continued, “But we can not be sure which day will be our last.”

The rabbi smiled and said, “Then the answer is simple: Repent now.”

This week’s Soul Food for Friday features quotes on repentance and an invitation to repent now and get back on the road to the purpose God has for your life. You may have been headed in the wrong direction. You may think you have gone to far down the road. You may have lost hope. Don’t, simply turn around and discover the joy and new life repentance can bring.

“When we repent, Jesus sets us free.” — Gordon MacDonald

“When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ He willed that the entire life of believers be one of repentance.” — Martin Luther, the 1st of 95 Theses nailed to the Wittenberg church door

Luther Bible 1534 by By Torsten Schleese [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Repentance is not something God arbitrarily demands of us — it is simply a description of what going back is like.” — C. S. Lewis

“It is the saints who have a sense of sin, the sense of sin is the measure of a soul’s awareness of God.” — Father Danielou

“Jesus didn’t come to save us just from the penalty of our sins; he came to save us from our sins — now, today, if we will only respond to the challenge and let him.” — Frederica Mathewes-Green

“When I repent, here is where it starts. I try to name my sin as honestly and as specifically as possible. Here is what repenting is not. It is not excusing my sin, minimizing my sin, it’s not rationalizing my sin … Repentance is getting painfully honest with God.” — John Ortberg

“Repentance is the word that gives us a second chance.” — Fred Hartley

“Confession without repentance is like dumping all the garbage out of the sack; rummaging through it; naming it before God and then picking it all up again.” — Billy D. Strayhorn

“It’s never to late, in fiction or in life, to revise.” — Nancy Thayer

“To repent means to realize that the kind of life we are living is wrong and that we must adopt a completely new set of values. To that end, it involves two things. It involves sorrow for what we have been and it involves the resolve that by the grace of God we will be changed.” — William Barclay

“Repentance is the key that unlocks the door to all that God has for us, but it is not easy.” — James MacDonald

“You change your life by changing your heart.” — Max Lucado

“Repentance is replete with radical implications for a fundamental change of mind not only turns us from the sinful past, but also transforms our life plan, ethics, and actions as we begin to see the world through God’s eyes rather than ours. That kind of transformation requires the ultimate surrender of self.” — Chuck Colson

“What we have ruined, God can restore.” — Steve May

“Repentance is a realization that what God wants from you and what you want from God are not going to be achieved by doing the same old things, thinking the same old thoughts. Repentance is a decision to follow Jesus Christ and become his pilgrim in the path of peace. Repentance is the most practical of all words and the most practical of all acts. It is a feet-on-the-ground-kind-of-word. It puts a person in touch with the reality that God creates.” — Eugene Peterson

“The true Christian’s nostril is to be continually attentive to the inner cesspool.” — C. S. Lewis

“The entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man’s respectable goodness; then the Holy Ghost, who produces these agonies begins the formation of the Son God in the life.” — Oswald Chambers

“Whether we’re children or grown-ups, few of us want to admit our mistakes. And that’s a problem.” — Dean Merrill

“Repentance is essential if we are to grow as disciples, but it is not always easy … Facing our failings is something we want to put off, like a trip to the dentist or bathing the cat. But hiding or ignoring our failings does not make them go away, and we will not progress in our walk with Jesus unless we go through the Repent side of the Circle.” — Mike Breen and Walt Kallestad

“To confess your sins to God is not to tell him anything he doesn’t already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge.” — Frederick Buechner

“As a sunflower turns its face to the sun for light and growth, so we, when we repent, turn from our sinful selves and turn to the face of God enfleshed in Jesus.” — William B. Knippa

“Great is repentance, for on account of an individual who repents, the sins of all the world are forgiven.” — Babylonian Talmud

“Rejoicing and repentance must go together. Repentance without rejoicing will lead to despair. Rejoicing without repentance is shallow and will only provide passing inspiration instead of deep change.” — Tim Keller

“The tears of anguish irritate and excite; but those of repentance are the ones that wash.” — Miguel de Unamuno

What words of repentance draw you back to the God who loves you and comes to us in Jesus Christ?


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