Gratitude and Repentance, Part Two

In this episode, Dan continues a conversation about gratitude and repentance and unpacks common misunderstandings about repentance through the narrative of the prodigal son.

One of the most common misunderstandings about repentance is that it is solely feeling bad about what you have said or done. That feeling, then, is what is supposed to pressure you into changing the nature of what you have done. Repentance, Dan also mentions, appears similar to the idea of penance, or paying for what you have done, but in reality, the two are radically different.

Repentance is something that should open the door to joy and connection with God and others, and if it does not, we do not know the true nature of repentance.

“Repentance is like any deep, heart skill—as you learn to repent, it becomes something that is more refined and exquisite because it opens the door to a heart of gratitude.”

Using the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15, Dan walks through the complexity of what we deserve, desire, and ultimately receive through repentance.

“We forget that we often enter the reality of our condition not by a cognitive reflection of where we are versus where God would have us to be, but far more from dis-ease.”

“There’s something about hunger causing us to return that sets up the context for God to bless.”

To close, Dan shifts from the prodigal son to his brother and states that though there are prodigal elements in each of us, the far deeper reality for us to repent from is our own self-righteousness.

“Grief opens the door to desire, and it is desire which opens the heart to receive to ask, to seek and knock, to pursue and to be pursued. What opens your heart to desire, and in that desire, is there a willingness to be humbled?”