Repentance. It seems like such a harsh word. When it comes to mind I conjure up images of nuns smacking rulers across knuckles. Or maybe a child crouched over, cowering away from a much larger adult with one hand on their hip and the other shaking a finger at them. But when the Bible talks about repentance it doesn't paint that picture at all. If you're saying "Wait, it doesn't?", I am saying, "That's right, it doesn't." God's Word paints a different picture entirely.
So to accurately imagine God leading us to repent, let's look at what He says about it.
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;” Acts 3:19 NASB http://bible.com/100/act.3.19.nasb
God wants us to turn from our destructive behaviors so He can refresh us with His presence. He knows that when we lay down our burdens, (and we know that anyone who has sinned has caused themselves, and probably others, some burdens, y'all. Am I right?) that we can walk with a lighter step, free from some of the consequences of sin. When we are feeling better about ourselves and our behavior we are more likely to engage with Jesus and that gives Him pleasure.
“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live."” Ezekiel 18:32 NASB http://bible.com/100/ezk.18.32.nasb
The more we repent of sin, the better our quality of life will be. Repentance is totally for our own happiness and for His Glory. Because as Christ followers, the happier we are, the brighter we shine and the brighter we shine the more attractive we are to this dull and heartbroken world.
While standing on a corner holding a sign with “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". Matthew 3:2 written on it probably won't spark anyone into wanting to engage with us, living a life of positivity and hopefulness can be the fire that attracts someone who is lost and without hope in a cold, dark world. And when they come to us asking "Why are you so happy and full of life?" That's when we give all the glory right back to Jesus. That's when we get the opportunity to share what God has done in our lives and just how much He loves us. That's when we get to share the Good News that the God of all Creation so dearly and tenderly loves them, no matter what they did yesturday. That's when we can show them that God's love doesn't depend on what they are doing today and He will always be there tomorrow to pick you up, dust you off and set you on the path He has laid out for you!
“Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I rebuke and discipline [showing them their faults and instructing them]; so be enthusiastic and repent [change your inner self--your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior--seek God’s will].” REVELATION 3:19 AMP http://bible.com/1588/rev.3.19.amp.
So you see, God is not angry or chasing after you with a wooden paddle. He simply waits, waits for us to grow tired of our sin and turn to Him for guidance and instruction on how to drop the chains that are weighing you down and holding you back from your full potential. So what are you waiting for? You've got nothing (emptiness, hopelessness, aimlessness...) to lose and absolutely EVERYTHING (happiness, contentment, wellbeing, confidence, the list goes on and on...) TO GAIN!