Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1
An ancient Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a
single step.” Even long and difficult undertakings have a starting point; you can’t begin a long journey at the halfway point. You must begin at the beginning.
The Bible speaks of journeys and paths, referring to the journey of life. It also speaks of first steps: “Do not set foot on the path of the wicked” (Proverbs 4:14, NIV). The point here is that the path of wickedness will not mysteriously turn into the path of righteousness. We must start by never setting foot on the path of wickedness. Or if we are already on that path, we must step off it. Stepping off that path is what the Bible calls repentance and faith—the choice on our part to not stand in or step onto the path of unrighteousness. The journey of life with God begins by stepping off one path and stepping onto another.
Repentance means to change one’s mind, to turn and go in another direction. Such a choice is a step of faith—the first step on a lifelong journey.
Repentance, as we know, is basically not moaning and remorse, but turning and change. J. I. Packer