5 Steps to Create a Habit of Repentance

Have you gotten to a point in your walk with Christ where you are going through the motions? Perhaps you are comfortable with your Christian routine. Maybe you lack zeal and just wish you could experience growth. It doesn’t have to be that way.


When we trust Christ as our Savior, we receive His forgiveness and walk “in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Yet how often do we return to the Cross for a time of intentional confession of specific sins? Do we allow the Holy Spirit access to the hidden sins — sins we have lived with and tolerated for so long, we no longer recognize them as offenses against our King?

Sometimes we tolerate sin unawares. Other times we attempt to ignore it and focus on another sin, fearing the shame that will accompany the uncovering of our sin. But Scripture is clear about the person who walks this way:

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

– 1 John 1:8-10

5 Steps to a Habit of Repentance

Sin unaddressed in our lives hinders our witness to the grace and faithfulness of our God. So, how do we approach this issue?

1. Schedule it. If it isn’t prioritized to the point of putting it on the to-do list at the same time or on the same day, it simply won’t happen. {This is not to say that scheduled time is the only time to work through confession and repentance. But it should be some of the time.}

2. Focus. Turn off your phone, computer, or tablet. Maybe grab a pen and paper, if that’s your thing. Remove distractions and find ways to bolster your concentration.

3. Pray. This may seem obvious, but it is crucial. Ask the Holy Spirit to do His job — to convict of sin and guide into all truth (Jn 16:7-8, 13).

4. Read God’s word. Psalms has some excellent recordings of confession and repentance. Check out chapters 42, 51, 80, and 103 for starters.

5. Deal with it. As sin is uncovered, don’t hesitate to seek God’s word, asking Him to lead in the next steps you take. Do you need to seek relationship restoration with someone? Are there temptations that need to be removed from your life? Will you seek accountability?

“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),
and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness,
but instead expose them.”
– Eph. 5:8-11

It’s easy to overlook this truth:God already knows our sin. We are not telling Him something new; He will not respond with shock. But He gives us the gift of repentance (Acts 11:18), desiring for us to tell Him what He already knows so we can receive His healing with hands open and heart ready. He wants to give us the promised life, life abundantly (Jn. 10:10b).

How can you create a habit of repentance?

Encourage one another.  Leave a comment below!

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