Repent and live (Ezekiel 18:32)!
What is our understanding of repentance? Usually, it is sinning and then telling God “I am sorry.” Maybe we add “I will never do it again Lord.”
But you know very well in your heart that it is not the repentance the Bible talks about.
First of all you should be able to see sin in the light of God’s holiness. It is when we see it through our eyes we come up with excuses. King David lived with his own excuses for nearly an year before Prophet Nathan helped him see through God’s eyes the great evil he had done (2 Samuel 12:1–14).
Secondly, there should be an acceptance of our sinfulness. As long as we don’t actually commit murder we feel good. No. If you harbor hatred it is equated with murder even if you don’t commit it (Matthew 5:22). Likewise adultery is equated with lusting after a woman in one’s heart (Matthew 5:28), and an untamed tongue proves one’s religion worthless (James 2:26). So entertaining wrong motives is sinful even if you don’t act it out.
Thirdly, there should be a turning away from sin. There are simple practical things one can do to prove one’s repentance. That was what John the Baptist said: “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). If you have stolen in the past stop doing it. And do honest work. Not every case is as simple as this example. But the point is turn away.
Finally, return to your first love towards God. It is amazing to note that Jesus our risen Saviour tells the church in Ephesus to repent and then return to their first love (Revelation 2:4, 5). Now first love is full of excitement, it does not waver, and it is blind to everything else. Only the object of your love occupies your thoughts. And you never get bored spending time with that person.
Is that your situation with God right now? Otherwise you need to repent. You need the help of the Holy Spirit to see your utter sinfulness and coldness of heart towards God. That should create in you godly sorrow which leads to true repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Repentance is not just a one time event. We need to repent of all that is wrong in our lives each day. Then you shall live.