Hosea 14:1-3 gives at least 8 elements of a repentant heart, take a moment to look at them:
1. “return to the LORD your God” – Repentance includes turning to the Lord from your sinful choice(s)
2. “You have stumbled because of your iniquity” – Repentance includes an understanding of the seriousness and awfulness of sin – an awareness that your sin has caused you to fall – not just stager, and has broken your relationship with God.
3. “Take words with you, and return to the LORD” – Repentances includes a concern about heart sins as well as behavioral sins.
4. “Take away all iniquity” – Repentance includes an acknowledgment that we have sinned, and that our sin is serious. It brings a willingness to call all that is behavior that is against God’s Word, sinful.
5. “Receive us graciously” – Repentance includes a desire and request for forgiveness – not bargaining, not talking about good works, not asking for justice, asking to be received graciously (Ephesians 1:7).
6. “For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.” – Repentance includes an intention to live a God centered life; a desire and commitment to glorify God with lips and life; to serve God rather than self.
7. “Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride on horses, Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.'” – Repentance includes a renunciation of self trust and self dependence or dependence on anyone or anything else other than God.
8. “For in you the fatherless finds mercy.” – Repentance includes a sincere desire to be set free from sin, not just the problems caused by sin, not just the unpleasant consequences of sin.
As we repent of our sinful behavior, evaluate whether we can find these elements in the desires of our heart.