LUKE 3:10-14 | And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
Repentance involves emotion—sorrow for our brokenness. It also involves courage—taking a fearless moral inventory. The crowds asked John for advice about how to “do repentance.” He gives them three very useful examples of areas of our lives we can examine. How generous are we? What are we doing with our surplus (i.e., the second coat)? Do we see and respond to the needs of others?
Are we meeting the demands of honesty, transparency, and justice in our personal and professional lives (i.e., if we are tax collectors, do we cheat?) And finally, how do we use our power over others? Do we serve or do we manipulate? Do we respect and enhance others’ freedom or do we diminish it (i.e., the soldier example)? Power, integrity, generosity—three good tests.
How do you score yourself in these three areas?
What other areas are important in our process of repentance?