Last time I posted I wrote about a father from Mark 9.
When confronted by Jesus pushing him to put all of his belief in God, the man responded with the amazingly honest and humble statement, “I do believe. Help my unbelief”.
I love that.
In a related topic, I wanted to talk about repentance. Now repentance is a big topic. There are thousands of books about it. People talk about it all the time. People talk about living a life of repentance. Walking a walk of repentance. Hearing a call to repentance. People have lots to say.
The truth is I have not studied the topic very much. I pretty much know three basic things (and these are by no means meant to be instructive. They are just what I usually think/feel): 1) Jesus calls me to repent. 2) my sinful nature fights against that so 3) I have to be constantly repenting.
Now if you knew me, or better said, HAVE KNOWN me for any period of time, you would know that God has been incredibly gracious to me. And I think it’s only by his grace that I repent at all or feel the spurring to. It’s something that I am learning.
What that father said to Jesus in Mark 9 is huge for me when it comes to repentance.
The longer I follow Christ and the better I get to know him, the more I learn about my own sin. There’s all kinds of crap I didn’t know about. He keeps showing me more and more things that live in my heart that are contrary to what he would have for me. And I will be honest, I can get frustrated. Sometimes it’s just hard to care.
It’s at those times the statement of the father from Mark 9 comes to mind. My prayer is “Lord I’m sorry. I repent. Help my unrepentance.”
Now I really am not a Bible expert. I don’t know if I technically allowed to do that. But I know that I feel a lot like that father did. I am sorry. I do want to turn from whatever that sin is. But I know that I am weak. And that if God is not gracious to me then I won’t be able to turn from sin or even want to.
I’m glad that that the “if” in that last statement is not really an “if”. God is always gracious to me. He always has been. He will help me overcome the things that I struggle with.
I do believe that. Help my unbelief.