“When repentance becomes a constant, recognizable part in an environment, the people in that culture experience freedom they never knew. They have amazing stories to tell. The truth always sets us free. Free to love God and others, free to trust even more truth, free to heal and reconcile…..” TrueFaced, pg 111
As mentioned in a previous entry, I’m reading a book right now called TrueFaced. One of the points the dudes (there’s 3 of them) makes is that repentance is really not just a private enterprise. However we often think of it in private terms-unless we need to apologize personally to someone. When I googled images of repentance, all were simply individual pictures.
Even though it’s often ‘easier’ in the short term to repent privately, this activity can sometimes reveal a concern to keep up good appearances before others. If we never share our repentant hearts with others, or repent before them, we will ‘look’ a whole lot better. But will we be free from needing their approval, or simply continuing in our slavery under it?
However when repentance becomes an activity done also in community (as it’s instructed in James 5), you will begin to live out the truth that Christ’s approval is far more important than approval from others. And they in turn will see it as well, and experience it with you. So you can see that keeping our repentance and failures private can actually retard the experience of freedom in not only ourselves, but in the lives of others within our church communities.