Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 13, 2015
Confess your sins to each other. James 5:16… If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Luke 17:3
From time to time my confession and repentance of sin become rote—my soul is not fully engaged. In doing so I lose my genuine awe of God and respect for the people I love. I get distracted doing life and fail to truly fear the One who gave me life. I rush through an apology with my wife without taking the time to unpack how I bruised her spirit or hurt her heart. True confession and repentance take undivided focus and attention to detail. Cleansing my soiled soul is not passive. Active contrition defines its offense and asks the offender for forgiveness.
Yes, we ask our heavenly Father for forgiveness, but we must also ask fellow human beings for forgiveness. Confession is good for the soul. Confession is also good for growing healthy relationships. Without confession, repentance and forgiveness, we ignore intimacy. We just use each other to get our way with little concern for the other’s cares. We intensify and prolong pain without pronouncing the seriousness of our sin and our need for relational repair. We show our sincere love when we take responsibility for our hurtful actions and commit to change.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
Confession has a clear path of effectiveness. The first step is to admit your sin to yourself, the Lord and the one you offended. Don’t say, “If I offended you.” Instead own your offense and say, “Please forgive me for my angry outburst and harsh words.” Next acknowledge how it hurt your friend/spouse. “I know I hurt and disrespected you. I am truly sorry. In the future I plan to process my negative feelings with God and you before they escalate to sinful expressions.” Ask if any of your other actions caused pain. Patiently listen and respond empathetically.
Conclude by acknowledging, “I understand it will take time to heal and regain your trust. I love you and I want us to grow together in understanding and intimacy.” Confession and forgiveness are the Lord’s remedy for relational repair. Not only do we seek healing with fellow human beings, but we also come clean with Christ. Confession accelerates forgiveness. Humility helps us keep short accounts with others and with our heavenly Father. Confess, repent and trust the Lord to bring relational wholeness. Our need for forgiveness keeps our faith fresh and fiery!
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Prayer: Heavenly Father create in me a clean heart. Give me the humility to confess my sins.
Related Readings: Psalm 32:5, 51:1-17; Luke 17:4; 1 Peter 5:6-7; 1 John 1:9
Post/Tweet this today: Confession and repentance are the Lord’s remedy for relational repair. #confessandforgive #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: 3 minute music video- Matt Maher: Lord I Need You
© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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