But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
In their anguish, Paul and Barnabus brought them good news: turn from worthless things to the God who made everything.
Repent can feel like one of those religious words people frown upon. Perhaps it's associated with judgement or fire and brimstone, but really, repent means to turn. Maybe we need to turn from some bad habits, addictions or harmful relationships. We can feel pulled in different directions -- perhaps even pulled apart. Paul and Barnabus said that in the past, God let nations go their own way. There's a difference between having free will to choose whatever we want and having freedom from those choices.
What worthless things do you need to turn from today? Sure, you're free to choose your bad habits, your addictions and your harmful relationships. Maybe it's not about adding God to your life, but turning from those things to God. If you didn't spend so much time scrolling, you could read a Bible verse every day. Decide today not to get locked up in your own mind; free will can be a gift, but it can also be a prison. There's evidence all around you; turn from earth's worthless things to heaven's worthy one.