Friday, February 19, 2021
By Dr. Bob Hornback
Passage: Acts 19:4
Metanoia (Repent) means to have a change of mind resulting from new understanding. It is turning around. Usually, we think of turning from some sin, except in Hebrews 12:17. There it means not simply a change of Isaac’s mind, but such a change as would reverse the effects of his own previous thinking. Esau’s birthright-bargain was an irretrievable loss.
In Romans 12:2 Paul speaks of being transformed by the renewing of your mind. This kind of repentance is not about regret or guilt or shame; it implies making a decision to turn around, to face a new direction, to turn toward the light.
Imagine this scenario of turning around and facing a new direction: You are standing in a circle of people. In the center of the circle, there is a source of light. But rather than facing the center and the light, you are standing with your back to the light, facing outward. When you stand this way, facing away from the light, all you can see is your own shadow. You cannot see the light. You can only look into your own shadow. You cannot see the others in the circle with you. From what you can see, you are disconnected and alone in the dark.
Now imagine that you turn around to face the light that is in the center of the circle. When you turn toward the light, you no longer see only darkness. When you turn toward the light, your shadow is behind you. When you turn toward the light, you can now see the other people who are standing with you. You can see that the light is shining on everyone and that you are all connected in its radiance.
Making the decision to turn around, to turn away from the shadow, to face the light: this is metanoia.
Prayer: Lord, we are quicker to see sins we have committed than to recognize good and right we have neglected. God turn us that we might see the Light reflected in the faces around us. Amen.