Monday, January 21, 2019

Why repentance is so hard

Have you ever tried doing Matthew 18 with someone and saying that you feel they wronged you? How did it go? Chances are they got defensive, and never admitted any wrong. Why is this so common?
The following from an article in the Observer is helpful: 
“If I see myself as someone who is smart, competent and kind, and you give me some information that I have done something foolish, immoral or hurtful, I have a choice,” says US social psychologist Carol Tavris, co-author with Aronson of Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me). “I can revise my view of myself, or I can dismiss the evidence. Most people take the least painful path and dismiss the evidence.”So, if someone says we've done wrong, we might discount them because its easier than considering that we're not as good as we thought we were. 
This makes me think: 
1) We really need God to do a work on our hearts to see any repentance. This means praying for ourselves to repent, and praying for those we loving confront.

2) If we view ourselves too highly, we won't accept people's correction. We need to have a biblically based, emotionally intelligent, and socially informed, sober judgment of ourselves.

3) Having a strong view of who we are in Christ, with Christ's righteousness, but also ungodly (Rom 4) will make it easier for us to accept correction.

4) If we grow in love for others and God, we might love them enough to not avoid the pain of discovering we're worse than we thought.

5) We need diverse friends who disagree with us. If you read that Observer article, you'll see how we tend to do group think, and our reason fails us unless we have people in our group with differing ideas.

6) Repentance requires God's supernatural work on our hearts (2 Tim 2:25).