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Wednesday Devotional: An Unexpected Twist on Repentance

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Photo by Jonathan Goble, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Isaiah 43: 25

As I was watching a recent episode of "The Mandalorian," a Star Wars-based TV series, I had an epiphany about Christian repentance. Bear with me a moment while I set the scene.

In this episode, the Mandalorian, Din Djarin, seeks repentance for something Mandalorians must never do: removing the helmet when not alone. The clan's spiritual guide, the Armorer, tells Djarin he must bathe in the living waters of the ravaged planet Mandalore in order to gain repentance.

Djarin finds these waters, accompanied by renegade Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze, who is always taking her helmet off, so she is a clan outcast and doesn't care. Djarin unexpectedly sinks in the living waters, and Bo-Katan rescues him.

When presenting to the Armorer, who forgives and restores Djarin to the clan, it comes out that Bo-Katan rescued him. The Armorer asks her, "Did you go in the living waters?" Bo-Katan affirms she did. Then, the Armorer asks, "Have you removed your helmet since then?" Bo-Katan says, "No." The Armorer concludes, "Then you too have found repentance. You may join us again." Bo-Katan's reaction is a mix of surprise, uncertainty, and gratitude at the welcome.

I feel like her reaction is similar to the reaction of some of us when hearing that God actually forgives us: surprised, uncertain, but grateful. Even if you repent of your sins, you might feel unworthy of God's forgiveness. In my book and video series, "Live Like You're Loved," there's a section called "Live Like You're Forgiven." In it, I stress that we are forgiven because of God's character, not our character. Isaiah 43: 25 reads:

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."

We think of God as being offended by sin, and indeed He is. But God says, in multiple places in scripture, that He is also patient, compassionate and merciful. Hence, it is in His nature to forgive. Isaiah 43: 25 emphasizes this point about God's character.

Back to "The Mandalorian," I'm curious to see how Bo-Katan will respond going forward. Will she return to her former, outcast ways? Will she find a new life following the way of the community she has rejoined?

Similarly, how does your life change once you know God's forgiveness? The Big Thought of the "Live Like You're Forgiven" section is:

When you have the heart knowledge of God's forgiveness, you can live like you're forgiven, without guilt and with forgiveness toward others.

God forgives you in order to set you free from the baggage of guilt that can weigh you down. God wants us to live freely in the light of His love. In living like you're forgiven, you'll find you can more naturally forgive others.

Will you ask for and accept God's forgiveness and move forward?

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