“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,

“Return to Me with all your heart,

And with fasting, weeping, and mourning;

And tear your heart and not merely your garments.

Now return to the Lord your God,

For He is gracious and compassionate,

Slow to anger, abounding in mercy

And relenting of catastrophe.

Joel 2:13-14

Now whenever you fast, do not make a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they distort their faces so that they will be noticed by people when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But as for you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that your fasting will not be noticed by people but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:16-18

There’s no room for theatrics in the arena of a changed heart. God is looking for sincere conviction and deliberate action, not just outward displays of obvious sadness.

Can we truly repent in heart and mind or are we looking for the approval of people by having an appearance of righteousness?

Ethan Kirl