So what does dieting have to do with redefining repentance? The answer is that when we appropriately define our actions and motivations, it's easier for us to understand our need to repent and then to make the change that is a crucial part of repentance. When God talks about repentance in the Bible, He's talking about us adopting His view of a given activity, whether that is actually seeing the reasons for that activity or simply trusting God to know what is best, and then completely stopping that activity.
Consider how God feels about marriage and divorce. When God established marriage, He did it because we need community, we need partners, we need to put others above ourselves. Also, families are essential to raising healthy children. God established marriage because He wants us to have an understanding of the relationship He wants to have with us. God wants to be intimate with us. He wants to be so close that He is our top priority, our first thought. And He wants us to be confident that He loves us and that He will always love us.
When we allow divorce, when we allow personal desires and conflicts to build up and tear us apart, we are hurting ourselves, we are hurting everyone around us, especially our partner, and we are making what was meant to symbolize God's love for us a lie. So God wants us to hate divorce as much as He does because it's just wicked.
Does that mean that I think there is never a time for divorce? No. We live in a fallen world, and we are fallen people, and there will be times when divorce is the only option. But whether or not we destroy what God created for beauty doesn’t mean that what God created can’t be beautiful. We just need to turn our thoughts and hearts to God. And that happens through repentance.
So the next time you think about apologizing to God for something you know you shouldn't have done, followed by another empty promise to never do it again, think about how you’re looking at what you did. If you start to see your actions from God’s perspective, maybe you’ll find that what you did doesn’t look so attractive to you anymore and repentance won't be such an empty activity after all.
Psalms 103:17-18 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
17 But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children--18 To such as keep His covenant [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it] and to those who [earnestly] remember His commandments to do them [imprinting them on their hearts].