Of course we do, but how do we Christians define such a term? What is it’s use?
From the most common understanding I have within Christianity repentance functions as an act to not committ the action again (ie: stealing). It means to change our behavior concerning the said action in question (develop new actions to take the place of that one – like buying the stuff we want – ie: get a job and make some money to afford what you want).
I think that alone is quite good, but there is more to repentance than we are giving on. Jesus believed in repentance that had a more personal aspect to it (like Yom Kippur in some ways):
“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matt 5:23-24)
Process seems to be: (1) Go (2) Reconcile w/brother (3) Return & Meet w/God
Repentance is about the confession and the abstaining from the sin again, I agree 100% with this aspect of repentance. However it is more – it is making things right (reconciling) with the party that was hurt/ripped off. See next verses.
“Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison” (Matt 5:25)
Process seems to be: (1) The Judge (2) The Officer (3) Prison (court of law scenario)
In Jesus’ days and according to his faith (Judaism) – they followed the law and the best route to avoid any penalty was to make sure to make things right with the injured party (ie: stole something from him so return that something or something of equal value as part of the ‘reconciliation’). If not, one could find themselves before the court and eventually facing prison for their breaking of the law and hurting their neighbor.
But the process of repentance seems to be about confession (apology) and reconciliation (making the wrong right) and then adopting the strategy of not doing it again (following God’s teachings – making your offering after the first part is done).
In Christianity we do not look at the reconciliation part that thoroughly because Jesus paid that part (we owe nothing). We can basically rob someone of a hundred dollars and then end it with an apology…no payment back – and we expect them to forgive us (even if we never rectified the situation). We need to take repentance a step further…confess, then pay back, and then approach God in humility of our actions (making the promise not to do it again).
Repentance process seems to be: (1) Go to hurt party (2) apologize to hurt party (3) Pay back the hurt party (make it even) (4) Return to God and make your ‘offering’ (chance to change)…or face the consequences of the crime.