When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
-Luther, the first of the 95 Theses
I think I am seeing more and more how this is true. I am constantly failing, constantly seeing new faults, constantly wounding others with my sin. If that is true, then right alongside (oh, so quickly!) should come repentance.
I was remarking to my small group last night that it really is such grace to be with other believers in relationships. When I wound a friend or my sin is exposed, which often it is, I can repent. And when I repent, they can forgive me, not because they are excusing my sin, but because Someone has already been punished. I don’t have to try to “make up for it”.
This frees me to live honestly – to not live in fear. I can acknowledge to my friends “Hey, I’ll blow it in this relationships” and not come completely undone when I do. I can face the actual damage of my sin because I won’t try to make it look better or find an excuse.
All of life is repentance. But all of life is also forgiveness.