It’s strange how the “R” word can conjure visions of John the Baptist as a long-haired man covered in animal skins yelling, “Repent.” In a way, this may be partially correct.
John the Baptist had to come first. His Hebrew name, John, which was given by God means Jehovah has been gracious; has shown favor. He was ministering in Judea, which is the kingdom of Judah, now referred to as the West Bank. He urged repentance, but what did he mean? Is it being sorry? It is, and so much more.
Part of repentance is guilt (that’s probably why we don’t like to hear the word.) Guilt is an element. We do wrong, feel we’re to blame, and say we’re sorry. But we have to take the step fused in repentance. We have to change—think differently—reverse. When we make an “about face,” we’ve fully repented. (By the way, God helps us make changes.) (Smiley face.)
What about the red carpet? We pave the way for royalty by laying a red carpet don’t we? John the Baptist did that too. He came first and pointed to Jesus as the Son of God.
We can invite The King, Jesus, into our lives. We can extend the red carpet of repentance, and once we do we embark on an “about face” life, not to mention spending our eternity in heaven.
Lastly, repentance isn’t a onetime event. The Holy Spirit works in us, and if we’re truthful with ourselves, we’ll continue to see the wrong we do (ouch), continue to be sorry, and continue to change.
My prayer is I’ll always lay out the red carpet. What about you?