How Kind of God
"... not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" (v. 4)
One of the places where Christianity parts company with modern-day psychology is over the matter of our ego. The ego is that part of us which contains our sense of individuality -- our self-esteem. Secular psychology says the stronger our ego and the more central it is, the better equipped we are to handle life and to live it to the full. Christianity sees the ego as important and does not (as some critics might suggest) seek to demolish it; rather, it puts it in its proper place -- at the feet of Christ. On August 12, 1973, Charles Colson, President Nixon's right-hand man, was feeling deeply disturbed by the events in which he was involved. He went to see a friend who read to him from C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. Later that evening, he began to sob so deeply that he became quite alarmed. He realized that something spiritual was happening to him and cried out to God: "Take me, take me." That night was the beginning of the period during which this strong, ego-centered man found a new focus for his life -- the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what repentance is all about: it is a change of mind as to where life is to be found -- brought about in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. Real life is not to be found in the pursuit of self-centered goals, but in living out God's will and purposes for one's life. Charles Colson is one of Christ's most powerful modern disciples. He appears to have continued the way he began -- with a mindset that puts Christ first and himself second.
O God, may I have this same mindset too-- a mindset that puts Your will ahead of my own. Teach me more of what is involved in the act of repentance for I see that without an understanding of it I can make no real spiritual progress. In Christ's Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What requirement did Jesus lay down for following Him?
2. What was the area of repentance that the young ruler struggled with?