Just a quote from what has become a favorite book…

Radical Gratitude by Ellen Vaughn, from pages 95-96:

For many, the call to repent conjures up cartoon imges of kooky killjoys wearing sandwich boards and shouting at harried people on the sidewalk. Even those who acknowledge the need to repent often think of it in terms of guilt, fear, shame, self-punishment, penance, and “trying to do better.”

But real repentance is decidedly different. It gives no guilt; it leaves no regrets. It is not about working harder to be good and not mess up. Real repentance is intimate, refreshing liberation, astonishingly powerful. It is not self-centered shame, but a God-centered gift of grace. Through it, we come to saving faith in Christ in the first place. Through it we grow in a lifelong relationship with Him.

…It means a fundamental paradigm shift: an inward change of mind after the Spirit’s conviction that results in godly sorrow for sin, confession of it that we might be forgiven, and a change in how we live.

Real repentance springs from God’s initiative, not ours.