“…the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4
I often misquote this verse and say that it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. Well, that is true as well; except that, as is often the case, then we are applying the verse to others and not to ourselves!
At first glance, we look at this verse and readily agree. God is good; man knows that; they repent. However, what if I meditate on this verse, which basically means to chew on it like a cow chews on her cud – really think about it over and over again, (chew, chew, chew for you SVBC readers!) trying to get just a little more “nourishment” from it? 1Timothy 4:15 says, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” Ah, so if I meditate on God’s Word it will show in my life: my hands, my eyes, my mouth, my feet… (You remember the song: “Oh be careful little eyes what you see…”)
So, back to our verse: God’s goodness leads ME to repent. How does that work? Well, for me, this lesson came at 5:45 AM this morning. We’ve had a bunch of yucky weather through the night which resulted in a thin coating of crusty snow-ice junk! But no fear, it’s Monday – preacher’s day off, so let the stuff out there! WRONG. We have a funeral this morning, so my dear husband (I find I’m using that phrase a lot lately. If you have a husband, is he dear to you? That’s another blog! :)) is out there shoveling: scrape, scrape, scrape…right outside our bedroom window. Just the kind of sound you want to sleep to, right? So, as I lay there thinking about how I’d really like to sleep a little longer, I must confess that the old Wanda would have been annoyed. Couldn’t he read his Bible or something at least until six-thirty!? But this morning, I got up and went out to help him. For those of you who know me, you know that’s a real stretch to be doing any activity before seven-thirty! 🙂 Oh, the joy of hearing his surprise when he found me shoveling the church sidewalk!
That’s when this verse hit me! “…the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” I used to think this verse only meant that people would see how good God is, and they would trust Him for salvation. That is true, but there’s something there for every Christian to see as well. When we choose to do “good,” He blesses our hearts and guides us to WANT to do right – that is repentance! My life is changed because I chose to do right even in the smallest way. It brings such joy into our hearts: no regrets, no guilt, no annoyance!
AND, the other application may also be true: men may repent when they see the goodness of God. (Notice that the verse says “leads” not “makes.” The choice is still up to the individual. That wonderful “free will” that God blessed us with bounces the ball back over the net to our side of the court!) Where do they see it? IN YOU AND ME! WOW! This is really an overload for my seven-o’clock AM brain! How do men see the goodness of God? Well, they truly can just look up and out into His incredible creation and see His goodness (sad to say, many look at it, totally ignore the Designer, and worry about how they: puny creation themselves, can save it!); however, seeing it in His crowning creation: man, is what truly touches the heart. When an unsaved man sees God’s goodness in you, sees you doing the impossible, seeing you do what he knows he can’t do because of his sinful nature, that prods him on to repentance as well! Praise the Lord!
Hope you have a great day showing off God’s goodness! 🙂