I made a promise and I’m that honest that I have to at least try to see it through. All grist for the thing-a-day. I will make a concerted effort to stay on topic, because otherwise this theme could last me the rest of my life.
Stand back. I’m about to get outspoken.
Here’s a bombshell for you. You do not have to be religious to repent.
I know, I know. The word “repent” is usually mnemonically linked to YHWH-flavoured evangelists and you know in just a few moment’s they’re going to miraculously relieve you of the contents of your wallet, your bank account, and possibly your house.
Repent is not a religious word. It’s frequently used as one, but it’s not owned by any faith at all.
re*pent(1) [ri-pent] verb (used without object) 1. to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc. (often followed by of): He repented after his thoughtless act.
It’s only in the secondary definition that the concept of sin is mentioned. Pretty much every faith on the planet uses the concept of sin. I know atheists tend to avoid the words “repent” and “sin” because of the faith-related connotations.
Really, a sin is something you or society thinks is almost unforgivably wrong. Note the use of the word “almost”. You can be forgiven if you are sufficiently repentant.
Which means you pretty much hate yourself for what you’ve done, you never do it again - or at least try your hardest to avoid the temptation to repeat the mistake - and you put a determined effort into doing better.
Harder than it sounds. Ask all the people who’ve had to call their sponsors in AA.
Anyway, I’m drifting off topic. You don’t have to be religious to make a decision like that. In fact, such a decision is even more admirable without the concept of a higher power watching your every move, because the decider did so entirely on their own.
And when you think about that, that’s pretty darn huge.
You can be a charitable atheist. Just like you can be an arsehole christian [or insert your chosen faith here]. And I’m moderately certain there’s just as many of the former as there are of the latter.
We all choose how we act.
So take a good look at yourself and repent.