Monday, July 11, 2016

The 4 R's of Real Repentance

St Mary's Mother House in Monroe
I spoke last Sunday morning at Redeemer on James 3:1-2, which says, "We all stumble." We all mess up. We all sin. As soon as we realize that we have blown it the thing to do is immediately get up and move in the right direction. This is called "repentance."

Linda and I recently listened to the "Dr Jenn Berman Show." Berman gave her "4 R's" about forgiving someone. I think they are excellent. These are really signs of repentance. Repentance is one of the necessary pieces in the puzzle of forgiveness. We ask, "Have they really turned around and now moving in the right direction?"

I am to forgive others when they sin against me, whether they repent or not. But Real Relationship Requires Real Repentance. (I am on an 'r' roll right now.) Without Real Repentance their will be no Real Relationship.

Has the person who hurt you repented? They have if they:

  1. Are taking Responsibility for what they have done. This means they are not blaming, accusing, or making excuses.
  2. Are showing Remorse. This means they are genuinely sorry for what they have done, and are not just paying you lip service. They seem to truly understand that what they did was wrong, and how it hurt you.
  3. Are taking steps to avoid Repeating the same kind of mistake. This means they are getting help for themselves. It means they have cut off other people they may have been wrongly involved with. They are taking action and "fleeing every temptation." They are open and candid with information, emails, their social networking, cell phone activity, and so on (as this is relevant).
  4. Are working to Repair the damage. 
Berman says the one exception to this is domestic violence. "Domestic violence is a deal breaker. Regardless of promises, it is likely to escalate and can end in murder."

My first book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.