Tuesday, December 16, 2008

True vs false repentance

I would like to share what i believe is a very accurate look at the difference between false repentance and true repentance. The distinctions have much to do with 'internal' desires, whereas outwardly one may 'appear' to be truly repentant and yet be very wicked, a complete hypocrite.
This is a quote by William S. Plumer (1802-1880):
From 'Vital Godliness: A Treatise on Experimental and Practical Piety'
Spurious means/= (False) Penitent means/= (the one who is repenting)
He who truly repents is chiefly sorry for his sins; he whose repentance is spurious is chiefly concerned for their consequences. The former chiefly regrets that he has done evil, the latter that he has incurred evil. One sorely laments that he deserves punishment, the other that he must suffer punishment. One approves of the Law that condemns him; the other thinks he is [harshly] treated and that the Law is rigorous. To the sincere penitent, sin appears exceeding sinful. To him who sorrows after a worldly sort, sin in some form appears pleasant. He regrets that it is forbidden. One says it is an evil and bitter thing to sin against God, even if no punishment followed; the other sees little evil in transgression if there were no painful consequences sure to follow. If there were no hell, the one would still wish to be delivered from sin; if there were no retribution, the other would sin with increased greediness. The true penitent is chiefly averse to sin as it is an offence against God. This embraces all sins of every description. But it has often been observed that two classes of sins seem to rest with great weight on the conscience of those whose repentance is of a godly sort. These are secret sins and sins of omission. On the other hand, in a spurious repentance, the mind is much inclined to dwell on open sins and on sins of commission. The true penitent knows the plague of an evil heart and a fruitless life; the spurious penitent is not much troubled about the real state of heart, but grieves that appearances are so much against him.

This is something i will use over and over again!


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