John Ortberg from ‘The Me I Want To Be’.
Repentance is not low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem causes me to believe that I have so little worth that my response does not matter. With repentance, however, I understand that being worth so much to God is why my response is so important. Repentance is remedial work to mend our mind and hearts, which get bent by sin.
For some readers the phrase ‘worth so much to God’ will sound offputting, but Ortberg’s point is worth noting.
Having a character that cultivates repentance is not the same as having low self-esteem. This is not ‘worm theology’ in the sense that we constantly think the worst of ourselves and endlessly denigrate ourselves and run ourselves down.
This is recognising the seriousness of our sin and greatness of our redemption, achieved by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Any value that we place upon ourselves flows from our union with Christ. We have been redeemed by the infinite value of Christ’s atoning work.
Repentance is part of our recognition of the value of that work.
Our motivation for turning from sin toward righteousness is not fear of punishment or hope of reward: it is love for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.