Still ruminating on the "repent of my righteousness" posts from last week (one and two). I think that’s one of the hardest things for me to grab ahold of over time, that the good things I’ve done or been about are still "filthy rags". And it’s not that I hang my hat on anything particularly spectacular. Just doing my best is usually time- and energy-consuming enough. "Having good intentions" and meaning to do the right thing – that goes in this pot, too. All those things we think we’re doing "okay" at are still so far short of perfection. Hmm.
It begins to change your definition of "repent" – from just being sorry you’ve done wrong to now thinking how my "done right" needs to be even more focused on Him, somehow. Repent is a daily readjusting, I’ve found, a more intentional inward shift more and more towards things that matter. I don’t do this very well. But I think mentally I can begin to think "repentantly" about some of these things. I can catch myself quicker, perhaps, I hope.
It also broadens my definition of "sin" – not just "breaking God’s law", but isn’t it more about anything that’s done outside of some sort of defining relationship with Him? Doug Pagitt said that sin is anything the dis-integrates us from God. Even the good things we do, if they alienate us, that’s sin. And even breaking the law, if it is driven from within a relationship with God – that’s okay, or at least okay-ish…
And above all this, the hardest thing for me is that it intensifies my definition of "forgive". Even the word "definition" is too narrow for what I think this means in regard to real forgiveness and grace. I might have to write more on that later.
p.s. – if you roll your mouse over the "one" link up above in the opening paragraph, you’ll see the URL in your status bar, or click on it and you’ll go to that page; I like that it has that first post with the filename "repenting-of-yo.html" – because I think we all probably need to "repent of yo" more often than we care to admit.