Question:

Hello,

I am in a similar situation as the man who asked you "How do I repent of adultery when I don't feel sorry for doing it?" After reading your response, I am still confused on what to do. According to you I feel sorrow but not repentance. I believe God exists, so honestly my main reason to want to follow God right now is because I believe He is the Creator of the universe who controls my salvation. I am very greedy, so all I care about is my own salvation.

How do I change my heart so that I can feel true repentance? I ask God constantly to change my heart, but I don't notice any changes in my life. Also, every time I try to read the Bible I seem to nitpick it and find confusing or contradicting points that make me angry and not want to believe in God anymore. I try talking to other Christians and they can't seem to change my opinions either. It seems that only God can change me because no matter how hard I try I can't change myself and get myself to feel repentant. How come some people can repent and believe in God easily and others cannot? Is there anything I can do that change my view, and make me want to follow Christ, and make reading the Bible become encouraging rather than discouraging?


Answer:

Perhaps this will strike you as odd, but you appear to be approaching Christianity in a lazy manner. You want God to make you believe, even though you choose not to believe. You know that you would be better off believing, but there are things you are doing that you would have to give up. Between a belief in God and doing as you please, the latter wins. However, you figure if God forced you to believe then you would not have to choose to give up your sins, and, thus, there would be no hard decisions.

Repentance is a change of mind regarding sin and a change in behavior. It means you no longer find sinning acceptable and that you stop behavior. The reason you are finding it hard to repent is because you lack faith. You mentally accept that God exists and that your ultimate destiny depends on Him, but you don't really trust that idea. You can't get to the point of putting your life in a God who insists on you behaving yourself.

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). You do read your Bible sometimes, but you don't really listen to it. You don't apply what it says to your life; instead, you seek to find some excuse to disbelieve what it says. And I think that is because you don't really want to change, though you would accept change if someone made you behave.

In other words, it appears that you approach the Bible to find reasons not to believe instead of attempting to find out whether it is true or not. You don't take a just approach to the matter. So the question you should ask yourself is whether you sincerely would be willing to give up your sins if the Bible is true. If so, then examine it to see if it could be a book from God.

Wow. You are actually very accurate. It will take me a few days to ponder what you have said, so I am just responding to say thank you for taking the time to help me.