GENUINE REPENTANCE – A TRUE RETURN TO GOD
By Synthia Esther
The masquerade of pretense is often seen when a person is caught living a double life in the web of sin, asks for forgiveness without a contrite heart of true, genuine, repentance. Often heard is an apology that falls far short of being truly sorry for the harm they have caused. “I'm sorry, I hope I can stop the acting out cycle next time,” only serves to reinforce the false AA recovery concept known as “slip ups”.
Dr. Charles F. Stanley, In Touch Ministries, explains in his article, “What is Genuine Repentance?”, statements such as: “Lord, I'm really sorry I got caught,” or “God, I really regret that sin. I hope I can do better next time”, do not indicate genuine repentance. As both are promoted out of guilt or embarrassment, not a heartfelt sense of remorse over the fact that God the Father has been grieved. “Usually, these people have no intention of changing. They just want God off of their backs”, confirms Stanley. To which I add in relation to sex addicts caught living a double life, “They want their spouse off their back too!”
SLIP UPS CONFIRM A PATTERN OF FALSE REPENTANCE
For a sex addict in recovery the acceptance of their “slip ups” by their co-dependent wife and fellow addicts only serves to reinforce the false reality of habitual sin being condoned by God. Dr. Michael Youssef writes in Leading The Way, My Journal week 3, June 2014, “The Truth About Sin”. Youssef states concerning moral tolerance, "Read Romans 6:23. Paul tells us that sin has a price, and that price is death. Any sin we commit ushers decay into our lives. Sexual immorality kills intimacy. Lying damages integrity. Gossip destroys relationships. Every sin brings something corrupt and evil into our lives."
Moses tells the Israelites about God's laws. “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life” - Deuteronomy 30:19-20. Obedience and disobedience are matters of life and death, says Youssef.
When you slip up committing yet another sinful action, repeating the same pattern of choice that brought you to your knees with embarrassment and shame. You are confirming you do not care, never will care, don't want to care, and could care less if someone else cares. And you wonder why death to your relationship is a possible resolve? Sin leads to death. “Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.” Pro. 15:10 (NIV). A “slip up” by its very definition, is leaving the path.
DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? WHAT ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN?
Notice that blessings and curses extend to our children. Frankly put, sin attracts the devil, and the curses prevail if an addict's “slip ups” prevail. I remember clearly a woman who was pregnant posting on social media concerning her Christian sex addict husband in recovery who continued to have “slip ups”. During consult, I conveyed according to God's word her husband's habitual sins would affect her soon to be born child. She refused to believe God's very word (Ex. 20:3-6; Ex. 34:6-7; Jere. 32:18). Adam's sin affected not only his children, it affected all of humanity.
One of the most infamous examples of how sex sins affect our children is seen in the lives of David and Bathsheba (2nd Sam. 12:14-31). King David was being voyeuristic as he watched Bathsheba, innocently taking a bath. Instead of looking away, he lustfully watched, sent for her, and they had sex. Both were married to other people. Bathsheba became pregnant with David's child. Trying to cover for his sin, David made sure Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, was killed during war battle. They get married and she gives birth to a son.
God has His servant Nathan confront David's sin, who has a heart of true repentance knowing he had sinned against God. God forgives but our sin brings consequences. So true with David who reaped the sorrows of his sin through his own son's death. We read this shocking revelation in 2nd Samuel 12:14, “Notwithstanding this, because you have unquestionably treated Jehovah with disrespect by this thing, also the son himself; just born to you, will positively die.” God is the judge of all the earth (Gen. 18:25), and He always works in ways that lead us to true repentance. More over, if God had allowed human judges to declare David and Bathsheba's fate under the law, all three could have died. God latter blessed David and Bathsheba with another son, Solomon, who became David's successor.
GOD SHOWS MERCY TO THOSE WHO FORSAKE THEIR SINS
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but he that confesses and forsaketh shall have mercy” - Prov. 28:13. The Lord detests the way of the wicked, but He loves those who pursue righteousness.” - Pro. 15:9. The Lord is close to those who have a broken heart, and saves those of contrite, remorseful, spirit (Ps. 34:18), who He will not despise (Ps. 51:17). When you surrender your will to God in genuine repentance praying as David prayed, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies “blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”- Ps. 51:1-2. He is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins (1 John 1:9).
Copyright –2014- 2015, Synthia Esther. All Rights Reserved.