Summary: We can never maintain a right relationship with Jesus without a repentance that comes from Godly grief.
Beauty of Repentance
Illustration – Affluenza
Under almost all circumstances, if a person receives a conviction for vehicular manslaughter, due to drunk driving, that person will receive a lengthy prison sentence. This was not the case, however, for 16 year old Ethan Couch, who is a young man from a wealthy family in the state of Texas. It was the decision of a rather liberal judge that the 16-year-old suffers from “affluenza,” and therefore should not be severely punished. Even though the teen was driving drunk and killed four people, the fact that his wealthy parents let him get away with anything and everything justified the decision not to send Couch to prison.
In a true ironic twist of logic the judge determined that because Couch’s parent never punished him it was sufficient reason for the court not to punish him. At least the judge decided not to punish Ethan Couch to any real extent; Ethan received probation. Ethan, however, just could not deal with having to follow the courts instruction and after a year or two he stopped responding to the probation officer. He appeared to have dropped off the radar shortly after a video emerged that allegedly showed him breaking parole by being at a party where alcohol was consumed. The boy who was never taught to obey just could not abide by the law even when very little was being asked of him.
It turns out that Ethan and his mother fled to Mexico and was living in the Pacific resort city of Puerto Vallarta. Eventually they were apprehended and now both the mother and her son are facing serious charges. It is even possible that Ethan, who is now 19, could be tried in adult court. If this happens, and he is found guilty, he will end up in prison. It would have been so much better for the boy to have acknowledge that what he did wrong, repent of his sins, and endured the mild punishment he was given. Instead, he was totally oblivious to the fact that he was wrong and that he needed to change the way he thinks and acts. He continued to live a sinful lifestyle and it will cost him dearly.
It sounds as if, in today’s world, affluenza means if you have never repented in the past it is justification for not repenting today. This may very well stand in the liberal courts of man but it has absolutely no power in the court of God. Only the repentant person who has sought forgiveness through Jesus Christ will stand un-condemned in the court of God. In this biblical sense, the word ‘repent’ is a translation of the Greek word ‘metanoéō.’ Metanoéō is made up of two words: metá, which means "changed after being with" and noiéō, which means "think differently after" or "after a change of mind." Thus, biblically speaking, to repent is to experience a change in the way we think and act, after we have been exposed to the teachings of Jesus, which has shown us our current way is wrong in the eyes of God. In other words, in the court of man you are not required to repent, but in the court of God you are expected to regret your sin and labor to no longer think the same way regarding this particular sin.