Challenging thought… It is not enough to be sorry that you sinned. Very evil people can be sorry for their sins. To repent is to live a new life. It is to change in the ways that please and honor God. Today there is a new language of repentance abroad in the evangelical and Reformed world. People speak of their brokenness. “Brokenness” is the new buzzword. They talk about how “broken” they are. I don’t want you to use that language of yourselves. It is a way of speaking that sounds suspiciously like its opposite. People who talk publicly and at some length about their humility are not likely to be humble. But one finds this nowadays. “I’m a deeply broken person. And I think it is wonderful that God should choose so unworthy a vessel to accomplish such great things for his kingdom.” Substitute the word “humble” for the word “broken” when you hear these statements and then how do they sound to you?
I like very much C.S. Lewis’ perceptive comment. “Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he will not be a sort of…person who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him…. He will not be thinking about humility; he will not be thinking about himself at all.” [Mere Christianity~114]
Repentance is not demonstrated in the Bible in affirmations of one’s own unworthiness. These should be made, primarily in private to God. Repentance is demonstrated rather in godliness, in obedient, faithful, other-centered, Christ-honoring living. In fact, “repentance,” in biblical usage is the Christian life, it is discipleship, it is sanctification.