And rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness and relenting of evil.
Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Job, David, and countless others ripped their garments to show deep remorse to God. Don’t be misguided though. Today, God seeks broken hearts, not torn garments. Many people try to reconcile their relationship with God through outward acts of pain or public confession. While it is true that repentance should bring an outward change, this isn’t where it starts. God cares more about your inward relationship with Him. Once this is right, the outward signs aren’t far behind.
God wants our attitudes to be with Him, not just our outward actions. People can do all the mission work available, go to church, teach a children’s Sunday School class, and still not be in the “right place” with God. Our actions can present us as a Christian with our hearts not in line.
But there is good news in all of this. We have a God who wants us to accept Him. God is gracious and compassionate. He doesn’t jump to anger with us. He is loving and kind. God knows what we are faced with in our daily lives. He doesn’t deny that we our tested day after day, decision after decision. But if you keep God close with you day after day, decision after decision, God will lead you through.