One definition of repentance is to agree with God.
In contrast, if we ignore something, or cloak it in acceptability by calling it by a different name, then we will not overcome it. In fact, it will grow. Just like a seed buried in the ground, sin in secret only grows.
Why are we calling for a fast from criticism? So we can flush it into the open.
Let’s honestly look at both our attitudes and our words and call things what they are.
- Let’s not believe I just tell it like it is when the truth is we are being tactless or harsh.
- Let’s not think we are giving the issue a thorough discussion when the truth is we are creating conflict and dissension.
- Let’s not pretend It’s not personal when we malign a person’s work or ideas in a public meeting, or speak hurtful words.
- Let’s not cloak ourselves in a semblance of wisdom or discernment to cover being judgmental or rigid.
- Let’s be willing to see things accurately, even if they are ugly and even when they don’t fit the image we have of ourselves.
Let’s root these things out so we can be free of them. There is huge power in our words.
- We can speak words of healing and life to others (Proverbs 12:18 and 18:21).
- Soft words can diffuse an argument (Proverbs 15:1).
- Gracious words can build up others (Ephesians 4:29)
- We can declare the word of God and he fulfills it (Isaiah 55:11).
- We can offer praise which brings us into God’s presence (Psalm 100:4).
Without repentance—agreeing with God—there is no change.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” This is a key verse on spiritual transformation.
We often point out that the reference to beholding His glory clearly connects transformation to encounter with God—we do not become more Christlike by force of will but by the work of the Spirit as we truly connect with God.
However, the veil does not just keep us from seeing God clearly, it also distorts how we see ourselves. If we want to be transformed, our first step is to be willing to see the truth and call things what they are.