Obedience to Christ does not begin with outward actions. On the contrary, it starts with the heart.
When people start repentance with outward activities, they are usually focused on impressing other people rather than God. This leads to hypocrisy. It’s of absolutely no value in your relationship with God.
The heart is the place from which all outward activity flows. That is why God wants to cleanse the heart. Acknowledge that every single one of your thoughts is completely open to His scrutiny. This will have a sterilizing effect on what you think. With clean thoughts, you can then manifest clean words and clean actions.
Since you are trying to impress God rather than people, recognize that you are not going to get much praise from people for your repentance. Consider this a blessing. Praise from others is a distraction from your walk with God.
Seek to make your every thought an offering to a holy and loving God. It’s possible. It’s desirable. And it’s wonderful!
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