For most of the unbelievers I know, repentance conjures up an image of a thin-lipped man in a black suit pointing a bony finger and hissing, "Repent, sinner!" They see Christians as masochists groveling at an angry God's feet, flogging themselves bloody and staggering under impossible loads of responsibility. I've done my time in the grit-your-teeth school of repentance, so I understand where outsiders get their misconceptions. But how can I tell them what repentance really means?....

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