Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy were driving along one November day and passing in front of them was one of the newer students from their kid’s school, Michael. It was cold, and though Michael was a large boy, nearly 6ft tall and weighing well over 250 pounds, it was obvious Michael was in need. As the Tuohys drove on, Leigh Anne could not take it and told her husband, Sean, to “Turn around!” They did turn around and invited Michael to stay with them. That one night turned in to many more and the Tuohys ended up adopting Michael. Michael went on to be a professional football player and you may recognize the story from the movie The Blind Side. This turn around was life changing. It obviously gave Michael Oher the stability and opportunity he needed to bring out his God-given talents and play in the Super Bowl. As well, Michael’s involvement in the Tuohy family brought out the passion in them to help people and inspire others to turn around. Leigh Anne has even written a book called, “Turn Around: Reach Out, Give Back, and Get Moving.” The two words ‘turn around’ are powerful and effective.
The Biblical equivalent to the words ‘turn around’ is the word repent. The word repent in the Bible has three elements to its meaning.
Biblical repentance is an intellectual realization to cognitively change our minds about Jesus, accepting Him for who He is as Savior (Luke 2:11, 1 John 4:14) and God (John 20:28, Colossians 1:15-20) and agreeing that life lived His way is best.
John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Biblical repentance is an emotional recognition, a sad feeling and remorse over bad choices and wrong directions.
Joel 2:12 and rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster.
To ‘rend your hearts’ is to choose to feel the anguish of the wrong done. It’s not to wallow in sorrow or throw a pity-party, but just as we grieve a wrong done to us, we lament and are saddened for the wrong we have done.
Biblical repentance is also a physical change by acting differently. It is the choice to live life God’s way.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Mark 8:34 And calling the crowd to Him with His disciples, He (Jesus) said to them, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
It’s a life change like Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10 where in his encounter with Jesus, his repentance was seen in action.
Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
Repentance is not just intellectual or emotional or physical, it’s the full turn around when we change our minds, feelings, and actions. An attitude of repentance is powerful for faith and life. Both Michael Oher and the Tuohy family have been forever changed by those two words. What about you? Are there some areas of your life needing a turn around? Why not turn around intellectually, emotionally, and physically and see what happens in your faith and life.
Church is a great place to help with turning around. If you do not already have a church where you attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need www.cypresschurch.net.
Seeking the practice of turning around along with you,