To repent = μετανοέω = think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider.
The Greek word also carries the meaning of aligning ones thoughts with God’s.
My different repentance experiences have been as follows:
From New Age to Jesus. That was a relief because I didn’t have to save myself any longer.
From law to grace. That was indeed a tremendous relief.
From the idea that God was stingy, to seeing His generosity. Boy, that was a relief.
When I grasped that even sanctification wasn’t a work of mine, I was immensely relieved.
When I understood that God isn’t angry I became very, very relieved.
When I discovered the mystery, Christ in me; I was relieved beyond measure.
When I have had glimpses of my inheritance as a son, I have been joyfully relieved.
Each new discovery about the height and the width of God’s love has been reassuringly relieving.
Finding out I was dead was a dreadful relief, but being raised up as a new creation was a supernatural relief.
Discovering my new identity was a wonderful relief.
When I was convinced that my salvation was eternally secured, I became relaxingly relieved.
My experience has been that repentance equals experiencing relief. Instances when I have repented in the religious sense of the word (i.e. remorse, regret, and etc.) have almost, without exception, been a disaster because it has led to rededication; new promises and more works to satisfy a Person who already is gratified. In retrospect, I can see that those instances did not change me a tad.
He has transformed me, and each transformation has been a consequence of love followed by a sigh of relief on my part.
My latest act of repentance was yesterday. My thoughts went as follows: “I don’t quite understand this; why are so many responding to the stuff I write, and why are there so many out there who asserts I am a blessing to them? I am just a simple teacher from Norway” Then a familiar voice interrupted: “You, my silly boy, have you read anywhere that Jesus said He was just a simple carpenter from Nazareth?” I grasped the point immediately, and repented with a sigh of relief. (Btw, God speaks Norwegian fluently.)
By Ole Henrik Skjelstad