Repentance and Adjustment

A fork in the road

New Year’s resolutions can’t help having a gimmicky feel, but there is real value in a day which reminds us to always be pursuing excellence—and which reminds us that excellence is the product of our choices. New Year’s Day may not spark any new resolutions for you, but the Bible’s call to become more like Christ should.

The first question is always one of identification: What kind of problem is calling for a change? Is it a question of repentance, or of what we might call adjustment?

The Bible teaches us to be ruthless with our sins. It leaves no room for accommodation or half-measures; only repentance. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “From now on sin no more” (John 8:11). In the Sermon on the Mount, he declared, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48), warning, “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell” (5:30).

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