We’re all susceptible to cheap grace. Perhaps that’s why we’re so eager to bestow it on others. Failure is embarrassing. Shame is unbearable. We want to close the worst chapters of our lives as quickly as possible and just get on with living on the same trajectory as before, minus the embarrassment. Such an outlook, however, neglects true repentence — invariably to our detriment.
At its theological core, repentence represents a true “turning,” not just a feeling of shame, and certainly not a mere cessation of the narrow set of behaviors that caused the shame. Saying, “I haven’t sexted for a whole year” hardly defines or represents a truly penitent heart.