Repentance means a change of mind. Specifically, it means to amend your ways and live as God directs you. Since we know God wants us to love, repentance generally means to shift from a life of self-seeking to a life of seeking what’s good for those around us. For most of us, this is radical change. It cannot be accomplished in a single prayer or even a single day or week. Repentance actually needs to become a way of life, for it will take us considerable time to change the thoughts, motivations, perspectives, intentions, habits, and other factors that comprise the drivers of our lives.
God understands that repentance can’t be accomplished in a moment. He is willing to be patient with us. He doesn’t countenance procrastination, of course, but as along as we are working each day on the shortcomings that are apparent to us, He will be pleased. And He will express that pleasure in blessings to our souls.
Therefore, don’t think of repentance as something you did a long time ago. Think of it as something that must take a meaningful period of time if it is going to produce meaningful change in your life. Most important of all, be sure that you do all your repenting in God’s sight. People who change their behavior to please other people are missing the point entirely.