Eugene Cho

‘repent’ – one of the most beautiful words of the christian faith

Perhaps like some of you, I’ve developed a skewed perspective and meaning of the word ‘repent.’

And perhaps this an appropriate post in light of the coming rapture – aka – the end of the world as we know it.

When I’ve heard it used by preachers, teachers, and leaders, it was often associated with sin, death, hell, shame, punishment, and ultimately, an angry God.

It’s not that I have problems with the image of an angry God. It’s clear that there are images and stories that depict God’s anger and wrath but enveloping the image of God’s wrath are the bookends of God’s creative beauty and God’s redemptive glory.

This is why I love the word ‘repent’.

It was never intended to simply convey sin, wrongdoing, shame, or judgement – in isolation – but rather, to convey that God has a better way…a God of love, mercy, and compassion. It is one of the most beautiful and profound words of the Christian faith because no matter what we have done; No matter what situation; No matter what painful and hopeless circumstance…God always has a better way for us. God extends grace to us. God extends Himself to us.

When we ‘repent’ and turn away from certain things, we turn:

  • Not to emptiness
  • Not to void.
  • Not to nebulous concepts and theories.
  • Not to confusion.

We turn to the ways of God.

So beautiful.

Take 2 minutes to watch the video above.

So, I say to all of us:

Repent…Embrace grace.

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9 Responses

  1. Garrett S. says:

    Such a good word!

    For so long, repent has been a word associated with a kind of shame. And like you pointed out, there is a part of that, that rings true. I sin and there should be at least some regret (I’d be more concerned if there wasn’t). However, I had always thought that repentance meant to ask forgiveness up until a month ago when I was studying Hebrews.

    It’s so much deeper and every bit as wonderful as you describe it! Repentance is the event that happens in the heart and mind that leads to righteousness. To the things of God!

    I love the word repentance! So good! Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Kim says:

    Awesome post. Thanks!

  3. Chae says:

    And to simply put it… repentance is loving God and not loving sin.

  4. JJ says:

    Thank you for this, Pastor. I really needed to read and receive this today.

  5. Sejin says:

    It sure seems like the Greek word for repent, “Metanoeo” was spoken in the loving, kind tone that you mentioned.

  6. jchenwa says:

    I like the ‘re’ in repent,

  7. Turning to the despair of the great void is no repentance at all, but rather completes our turn away from God’s reality and into the very Abyss.

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These are crazy times in our country and larger world but nevertheless, we're going to keep pursuing the things that God has placed upon our hearts. We're pressing forward...doing our part to reflect mercy, compassion, and justice - locally and globally.

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pc: ed tanaka Following Jesus is not just about going to church. It also involves repenting, seeking justice, loving kindness, walking humbly, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, speaking up for the voiceless, welcoming the refugee, and fighting for the rights of vulnerable. Sometimes, it's scary but Jesus nevertheless commands, "Follow me." Be brave.

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