My brother is a Catholic priest at Mt. Angel Monastery. I had the privilege of sharing a meal with him this weekend and talking about many spiritual things. I always enjoy my conversations with him and glean so much wisdom. Part of his job as a priest is to hear people’s confessions. Sometimes people confess to him and are healed, and other times they continue to wrestle with the same sins, over and over again, not managing to find freedom. My brother quoted one of his favorite authors during our conversation:
“Repentance is no fun at all. “ (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
I laughed as I reminisced about the times in my own life where I have had to repent of deeply rooted sins. I looked up the dictionary definition of repentance and found that it is defined as: sincere regret or remorse, to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life.
So how do we truly let remorse help us to amend our lives for good? Scripture teaches us that:
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Cor. 7:10
I have learned to embrace the uncomfortable feelings of remorse instead of avoiding them. God has used Godly sorrow to heal me. (See “My friend remorse”)
Beth Moore says that her masterpiece (her life’s work) is Breaking Free. Towards the end of this study she unpacks 2 Cor. 10:4-6:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”
What stood out to me the most; however, was that the arguments against God are the rationalizations that we hold for our sin. Instead, we repeatedly confess them without making excuses and subject them to God’s authority. It is God’s divine power that demolishes our strongholds, but sometimes we have to continually and repeatedly bring them to God in prayer. And a long established habit may take a while to subject to God’s authority, but it will happen. This process is work, and it really and truly isn’t any fun, but it is worth it.
If you are struggling with a deeply rooted addictions, see “A very personal story” for encouragement as you walk this path to freedom.