Have you ever wondered what it is about confession that frees you to move on with your Christian walk? Scripture says that we are to confess our sins to one another. Have you ever wondered what impact that has on the sinner and the one he or she confesses to? Do you have a choice about the person you share your wrong actions and choices with? How do you determine who that right person is?
1 John 1:9 (NIV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
The truth is we all make wrong choices and act in ways that are not Godly. It’s what we do afterwards that determines if we stay stuck in a sin cycle or break free. Here are some suggestions to help you break free so you can resume being and doing what God has for you to be and do.
1. Go to God prayerfully and ask His forgiveness for your wrong action and choice. Know that He has heard you and that He has forgiven you. Receive His forgiveness.
2. Ask God to empower you to forgive yourself as well as strengthen you so that you will not act that way again, realizing that your humanity may indeed get in your way again like the Apostle Paul’s did in the “O wretched man that I am” passage in scripture. If it rears its ugly head again, follow point 1 and agree with Paul that you are strong in the spirit but weak in the flesh. God used him anyway, and He can continue to use you, too.
Romans 7:23-25 (NIV)
23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
3. If necessary, ask God to guide you to a person you can share what happened with and to whom you can be accountable just like you are to God. God knows who is right for you, and you may be surprised just who He chooses. Just follow the lead of God the Holy Spirit. He will give you the words to say what you need to say, and He will give your confessor what he or she needs to help you through this spiritually challenging time.
Sometimes, people think confessing is all about going to a spiritual leader, and God will work through him or her. Sometimes that’s true, and sometimes, that isn’t. The sad thing is that some of us who call ourselves spiritual leaders were never called by God and are not equipped with His love and compassion to successfully help those sincerely wanting to change do so. Some can tend to be legalistic and cite scripture passages while not personally connecting with the one who wants to move forward in his or her Christian life and needs help and support while doing so. Sadly, legalism crowds out love. Rebuking someone who has sinned is not productive or loving, and some fellowships teach that’s the way to “help” sinners. Not so.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 John 4:18 (NIV)
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
When I started writing this entry, I had no idea what God had in mind to share. Now I know. It’s how to seek believers filled with His love who can encourage you to move on from your wrong choices and mistakes. Remember, God loves you always whether you make right or wrong choices. He is always here to help and encourage you. Can we as His instruments do and be any less? That’s today’s encouraging word.
copyright 2014, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved