There was a man on a crowded subway with three little children. He looked distraught like he hadn’t slept in days. He had a blank stare on his face as if he was in another world. His children quite rowdy and ambitious to explore their new surroundings were jumping and squealing with glee. One child was standing up in the seat jumping off of it and trying to touch the ceiling. He must have been around six or seven and was old enough to know better. The other child who looked around three years of age was running around without being told or forced to sit in his father’s lap. The five-year-old girl was twirling her doll around her head hitting everything and annoying everyone it came in contact with. People stared at the man and wondered why didn’t he make his children behave, and thought to themselves why would you let your children act appropriately. Finally one man that had got whacked by the doll for the tenth time decided to approach the father with his concerns about his wild children. Everyone in the same car was happy to see that someone was brave enough to go and give that father an ear full to make him realize his children were causing a disturbance. “Sir, if you would be so kind, your children are in need of discipline. There are people on this subway who have had a long day at work, we are tired and it would be nice to have a relaxing trip back to our home. Can you do something with your children,” he asked the Father. The father replied, “Sir, I am sorry. My wife has been ill and in the hospital and the children have been staying with friends and family members. We just left the hospital and I am trying to figure out how to tell my children that their mother just died.”
In this fiction story above we sometimes pass judgment on a situation before we know the entire truth about the circumstances. If we were on the subway with this family, we too would wonder why this man wasn’t disciplining his children and find it quite annoying watching the children misbehave. However at the end of the story when we find out the real reason why this man is distraught, compassion hits us and we realize the dilemma the father is facing. This is called a paradigm shift. It is change in basic assumptions. It is a change from one way of thinking to another. It’s a revolution, a transformation, and a metamorphosis. It just does not happen, but rather agents of change drive it. Change is difficult. Human Beings resist change; however, the process has been set in motion long ago and we will continue to create our own experience. It all begins in the mind of the person. The term “paradigm shift” has found uses in other contexts, representing the notion of a major change in a certain thought-pattern — a radical change in personal beliefs, complex systems or organizations, replacing the former way of thinking or organizing with a radically different way of thinking or organizing.
We as Christians have been teaching much about accepting Jesus Christ has your Lord and Savior, to have Him to come into your heart and life. We teach repentance as the first step after believing. Repentance and asking forgiveness is too different actions. Asking forgiveness is confession of your sins and saying you are sorry for those sins. Many people will ask forgiveness and they may be truly sorry however upon pressures of life and with little encouragement or discipline they may return to their sin only to face asking forgiveness the following conviction. God is a just God and He will always forgive the sins when we ask Him to forgive us yet this doesn’t give us the right to go and continue the sin. When we are born again, the term rightfully means to be born again. God commands all men to repent. Jesus himself even said to repent. Repenting we have always been taught to turn from a sinful lifestyle and walk forward into the Christian lifestyle hating the very sin and refusing to do it again. It is redirecting our actions. Old habits are hard to break and change can be very complex. However, this definition is not the fullness in meaning. To repent is to change your way of thinking and redirect your thinking to produce actions that glorify and represent Jesus Christ. It is a paradigm shift. It is a major change in thought pattern. To truly repent, confession, asking forgiveness, and walking away from a lifestyle is all by products of re-direction of the mind. Your mind must be made up first and your thoughts must be willing to be under subjection to God first. When a paradigm shift takes place, in other words you make up your mind to serve God and accept Jesus Christ, the by productions or the fruit will show through confession and actions. Anyone can ask forgiveness but it doesn’t always mean they have repented. Repentance is a paradigm shift, it is to change the way you think about your life, where you are going, the actions you portray to others and re-directing old habits into more positive ones. Just like the story above, when things don’t always look good on the service, change your way of thinking to re-direct your thoughts in a more optimistic ways. It will change your life.
Mark 1:15 …“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT ye, AND BELIEVE the gospel.”