Repentance describes the process of sorrow and regret over sin that causes a person to turn away from sin and turn to God. Like most human experiences, repentance comes in true and false versions. True repentance affects the deep inner springs of the human heart; false repentance settles for a change in behavior unconnected to any internal transformation. In the Bible, people often would tear their clothes as a sign of repentance.
This was an effective demonstration when it conveyed real emotion. Unfortunately, this action became just an act. People discovered the efficiency of tearing clothing without that bothersome inward struggle involved in repentance. To these people, Joel’s words strung.
Other people should be able to observe the effects of true repentance, but the real audience for repentance is God. He’s never fooled by a mere outward show, but seeks the deep, inner connection to our spirits that signals authentic recognition of His holiness and our wretchedness.
Joel 2:13- And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.