There is a word in the Hebrew language called teshuva, which is often mistranslated as simple repentance of sin. In reality, the fullness of teshuva encompasses much more than just acknowledging sin. The meaning of teshuva embraces the idea of completely returning to God in order to restore your relationship with Him. This, of course, would require a person to believe that there is a God, and that He is forgiving. I believe both are true.
Why do I think teshuva is important to mention to you? Simply put, because I believe that people need God in their lives. The world has become increasingly complex, and sometimes frighteningly unmanageable. Life can be far too difficult to maneuver without God guiding the way. (Perhaps you feel the same.) I freely admit that I rely on God daily to help me through life’s challenges. Therefore, it’s important to me that I remain close to Him in a personal way. If ever I find myself feeling distant from God, and that can happen in the ebb and flow of life, I move to restore my relationship with Him through teshuva.
This all came to mind last night as I was watching a television show on Fox News. In it, a young Fox News Contributor by the name of Stacey Dash was being interviewed. As I listened to the interview, I was deeply moved by Stacey’s inspiring tale of her journey towards teshuva. Naturally, Stacey did not use the actual word, teshuva, but her story so exemplifies the concept that I think it’s worthy of retelling.
According to Stacey, (and I will paraphrase her words), she grew up in a home where both her parents were drug addicts; therefore, positive parenting was missing in her life. Apparently, she was also the target of bullying at school, which further inflamed the sadness surrounding the circumstances of her existence. Stacey admits that her response to all this was not to fall into despondency, but to become very angry.
As an outlet for her anger, she engaged in physical fights in order to stave off the bullies. Even though Stacey is small in stature, she did not fear to confront her largest oppressor. And, as is at times the case in these situations, some destructive patterns developed in her behavior. Stacey eventually left home to pursue an acting career, which, to her surprise, landed her a movie role in the film, “Clueless.” As time moved on, she was able to have a family of her own, but the anger remained alive within her. Unhappiness was still her friend.
It was at this point that Stacey had, what I call, her teshuva moment. She completely turned back to God. And, by her own admission, this completely transformed her life. As I watched Stacey on the television describe her experience with God, I could actually see her demeanor turn from tense to peaceful. Yes, I could see that life for Stacey had changed.
It was clear that with God now established in her life, Stacey was a new, improved version of herself. The anger had subsided, and happiness was clearly visible upon her face. She even gushed about the many career opportunities that God had opened up for her. Stacey did not let society dictate her life anymore, but, instead, put God in charge. This decision made all the difference for her. She had endured an arduous journey, but, finally, life is good for Stacey Dash.
There is no doubt that teshuva for Stacey radically altered her life for the better. This same scenario has been repeated many times over in the lives of others. As Rebecca and I have stressed so often in this blog, unequivocally, life is better with God, than without. God loves us unconditionally. He is just waiting for us to make teshuva. He desires for us to be close to Him where He will tenderly care for us, and shower us with His unending love. Why not snuggle up to Him right now and experience His intense U Love for you? You’ll be amazed to see how He transforms life!
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