Scotty Smith: A Prayer about God’s Kindness Leading Us to Repentance
Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Rom. 2:4Heavenly Father, I’ve seen many crazy things in my life; I’ve encountered a few crazy people; and I’ve certainly done my share of crazy things. But the most certifiably insane thing I do is to show contempt for the riches of your kindness, tolerance, and patience toward me in Jesus. I do this when I bow my neck, dig my heels in and refuse to follow your kindness into the green pastures of fresh repentance. Have mercy on me, the sinner.
The GPS of the gospel will never direct us to a destination of harm but only to a place of greater freedom and health. When we fight humbling ourselves; when we refuse to acknowledge the ways we love poorly, act immaturely, rebel openly; when we say “No!” to grieving our attitudes and actions that rob you of glory and us of grace, this is sheer madness. Showing contempt for your kindness is the ultimate destructive folly. Have mercy on me, the sinner.
Father, thank you for kindly leading us to humility, not to humiliation; to shelter, not to shame; to repentance, not to penance. For when I repent, I’m not the one making promises for change—you are. Only you can change us, and you are changing us, for you have covenanted to do so. That’s what the gospel is all about—simply collapsing upon Jesus, once again, as our perfect righteousness and sure hope of a new and changed heart.
So this morning, kind Father, I repent. I repent of not trusting that you are at work in my current irritating circumstances. I’ve looked at the weaknesses of others more than I’ve kept my eyes fixed on Jesus. It’s been easier (and at times more satisfying) to gossip than to pray. I’ve been moping about and plotting like an orphan, rather than rejoicing and trusting as a beloved son.
I’ve been more preoccupied with the ways of broken men than thrilled with the occupied throne of heaven. I’ve acted as though I care more about Jesus’ church than he does. How arrogant. I repent—because the gospel is true and you are so kind, I repent. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.