You know what they say: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and yet expecting a different result. Crazy, right?
And crazy though it might be, you’d be amazed how often we do exactly that. Why? Because we’re caught in a rut of bad behaviour, a stimulus-response cycle where something sets us off, and we always seem to respond in that same, ridiculous, unhelpful way.
Come on, at some point, we need to change that. The Bible has a word for that. It’s called “repentance”. Now, that’s a bit of an old-fashioned word. So, is it still relevant today? And if it is, what does it even mean?
You may recall the story of the woman brought before Jesus who’d been caught in adultery. They wanted to stone her to death, but Jesus put paid to that by saying to her accusers, “Anyone here who has never sinned should throw the first stone at her.”
When they heard that, they left one by one, knowing that in one way or another, they were all guilty of something.
John 8:10,11 He looked up again and said to her, “Where did they all go? Did no one judge you guilty?” She answered, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “I don’t judge you either. You can go now, but don’t sin again.”
Do you notice the two parts to that? Yes, Jesus forgave her – I don’t judge you either. That’s called grace, the unmerited favour and forgiveness of God. But there’s a second bit: You can go now, but don’t sin again.
That second bit, that’s called repentance. It’s this radical idea that you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again, and yet expect a different result.
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.