Have you seen 7 Pounds? The quick plot outline is this:
An IRS agent with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers
Have you read Jonah chapter 3? The quick plot outline is this:
A prophet of God with a racist background gets a second chance to lead the most evil city in the world to repentance using only eight words.
So which are you? 7 Pounds or 8 Words? Here’s what I mean…
Jonah was shamed by the people of Nineveh because they repented. I’ve been studying Jonah going on three weeks now in preparation for the series I’m teaching called “Suicide Mission.” And today I got humbled. See, it took a storm and a great fish to get Jonah to repent. Jonah. A Prophet of God. God’s go-to guy. It took 8 words for Nineveh to repent. Nineveh. Bloodthirsty. Evil. Arrogant. Sick.
And in Matthew 12:39-41 the Bible records that the men of Nineveh will actually stand up to condemn the Israelites for their failure to repent.
Here’s where 7 Pounds comes in. Repentance is not just a change of behavior. It’s a change of mind as to where life is found. In 7 Pounds (great movie, by the way), “Ben Thomas” takes extreme action (and noble action at that) to redeem himself from past mistakes. Repentance doesn’t work like that.
You can do all you want to try and redeem your life and your past. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen. You can sell your computer. You can vow to never do it again…but repentance isn’t about doing, it’s about pursuing. Are you pursuing a thing, an idea, a place? Or are you pursuing Jesus? Merely doing good isn’t enough. But embracing and pursuing the goodness of Jesus is where life is found. Repentance means to turn from sin, to show your back to what you used to chase, and to pursue Jesus instead.
So which are you? 7 Pounds or 8 Words? Do or pursue?