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How to Repent

Three Parts:Accepting Your SinMaking Things RightEmbracing Forgiveness

Has your life been overwhelming due to the sheer fact you know you did something wrong? Repenting is the key to answering your need for settling it with God, clearing it with those wronged and receiving peace. Get started with Step 1 to learn how to repent and bring your soul peace.

Part 1
Accepting Your Sin

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    Be humble. Remember: you can lie to other people and you can lie to yourself, but you cannot lie to God. If you really want to repent, you need to be humble and ready to admit that you don't always do the right thing. Be humble before God and know in your heart that He is right and you should live by His word.
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    Feel and trust God in your heart. You have to believe that God can forgive you and help you to lead a better life. If you do not, you will quickly lose motivation to correct your mistakes. Changing bad habits and righting wrongs is hard and you have to believe that God is there with you or you will falter.[1]
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    Think about what you have done. Think about all of the sins you have committed and all of the things you have done wrong. Don't limit yourself to the big things like cheating or stealing: all sins are equal in God's eyes. Sometimes writing your sins down can be helpful. You don't have to make your list all at once, either. It's better to take your time and be thorough.
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    Think about why what you did was wrong. Before you repent, it's important to think about why what you did was wrong. Blindly following God's word only shows Him that you do not appreciate what you did was wrong. Think about the people that you hurt when you sin and think about what sin does to your soul (hint: it's not good for you!). Think about the bad things that that guilt leads you to do. This is an important step!
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    Repent for the right reasons. Make sure that when you repent, you do it for the right reasons. If you think that you should repent so that God will grant you some unrelated wish, you're not repenting for the right reasons. Repent because it is good for your soul and will make your life more enjoyable and productive, not because you want worldly possessions, riches, or other things like that from God. That's not what God is for.
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    Read the text. When you go to repent, begin by reading the holy text of your sect (the Bible, the Qur'an, the Torah, etc). Read the passages that deal with repenting but also read more fully of the text, to help God's word enter into your heart and give your guidance. When we sin, we sin because we have lost our way. You need to find God's path so that you can walk it again.
    • The Christian Bible has many passages that deal with repenting, including Matthew 4:17, and Acts 2:38 and 3:19.
    • The major passage in the Quran that deals with repentance is At-Tahriim 66:8.
    • Jews can find passages on repentance in Hosea 14:2-5, Proverbs 28:13, and Leviticus 5:5.

Part 2
Making Things Right

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    Consult with your spiritual adviser. Your spiritual adviser, such as a pastor, priest, imam, or rabbi will be able to help you to confess and make things right with God. Remember, their job is to help you on your journey with God! They are happy to help and they understand that man is not perfect: they will not judge you! Even if you are not officially in their congregation, you can ask for advice and set up time to meet with them, so don't feel bad talking to an adviser that you don't know.
    • Don't feel like you have to go to a house of God to repent, however, or that you need to talk to an adviser for God to hear you. God hears just as much from you as a religious leader. You can repent completely on your own if you want to.
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    Change your behavior. When you repent, the main thing to do is to change your behavior. You have to stop committing the sins for which you wish to repent. This is hard, we know, but you can do it! It will usually take time and a few mistakes, but if you really mean it and you really wish to repent, you will be able to overcome.
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    Get help. Changing on your own can be really hard. It's okay if you need more that just a love of God in your heart! Admitting you need help will please God, as it shows that you are humble. You can join a support group, consult with a spiritual adviser, join a congregation, or seek doctors and other professionals. Getting help from people outside your church or religion does not displease God: He has helped them to gain the gifts they have for a reason!
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    Make right the problems you caused. Another important part of repenting is making right the things you did. You can't just say sorry and then never suffer the consequences. If you stole something, you need to tell the person you stole from and pay them back. If you lied and someone got in trouble because of your lie, you need to tell the truth and help that person. If you cheated on a test, you need to tell your teacher and talk to them about what consequences they think are right. Do whatever you have to do to help the people that were hurt by you. This will please God.
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    Use the lessons you have learned. Take lessons from the sins you are trying to correct, to help avoid making similar mistakes in other areas. Make your mistakes mean something by helping you avoid other problems in your life. For example, if you lied about cheating on a test and you want to really make that lesson mean something, make sure you don't lie about other things either.
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    Help others to not make your mistakes. Another way to make your sins serve a greater purpose is to help others learn from your mistakes. Sometimes this means going and talking to people about what you did, but you can also actively help solve the problems that led you to sin. For example, if you sinned by doing drugs, consider volunteering with a local drug clinic or supporting legislation that helps combat this problem in your community.

Part 3
Embracing Forgiveness

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    Live a life that pleases God. After you have repented, you should take the opportunity and work as hard as you can to live a life that pleases God. Different religions and denominations have different things to say about what pleases God, but read the text and think about how you feel too. If God is in your heart, he will lead you to the right answer.
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    Formally enter into your religious community. One thing that you can do that will please God and help keep you from returning to sin is to formally enter and be active in your religious community. For example, get baptized if you have not been already (and you are Christian). Go to services regularly, give money to your organization so that they can help others, and talk with the other members in your community about God's path. Help and love your brothers and God will be pleased.
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    Be active in protecting your soul. You should take an active role in protecting your soul in the future. Confess regularly and deal with your sins as often as possible. Watch out for things that you know lead you into temptation and stay away from people who don't have your best interest in mind. Keep reading the holy text and let God's light lead you down the best path for you.
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    Accept that you will make future mistakes. You are not perfect and you will make mistakes. God knows this. When you know it too, that is when you know that you are humble. Don't lose sleep at night worrying about what you might do to displease God. What matters to Him is that you try to that you make things right when you don't quite make it.
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    Live a good life. Sins are mistakes that lead us to hurt others and hurt ourselves. When we live a life free of sin, not only do we please God and preserve our souls for eternity, we also make our lives happier and more fulfilling. This is why it's important to take sin head-on. If you're doing something that makes you unhappy or leads to hurting other people, stop! By bringing your soul the comfort of forgiveness, you'll lead a much happier life.


  • Forgive yourself. Do not judge yourself. There is one judge: Forgiving yourself, is something you'll need to do. If you ask for forgiveness but don't seek it in yourself, you will always hold what you did over your head.
  • Remember there is no limit on forgiveness. God will always love you. Nothing can forsake you from Gods love.
  • Change your environment. If something caused you to do the sin, then change the circumstances of who or what made you want to do it.
  • Know one thing that because of our sins Jesus was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received in our place.(Isaiah 53:5). Now he is ready to forgive, if you really change your mind, turn around and ask him to forgive.
  • Realize you are the only one who can change yourself (put on the armor of God). You can want to change. Your family or friends can ask you to change, but when the time comes only you will have to make the dedication to God and to change.
  • Believe things will change. Why not see them change? If you were addicted to narcotics or had a habit that you want to get rid of/or overcome, believe that you will get rid of the habit and seek help, if needed.
  • Catholics: Ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray to her Divine Son for you. He always listens to her prayers on behalf of a sinner.

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Categories: Christianity | Prayer