A devotional by Carrie Hendricks
I think one of the hardest things for believers to do is to confess sins. I don’t know about you but it is not easy, by any means, to admit when I have done something wrong, hurt someone in someway and ultimately sinned against God.
In my sin nature, the natural thing for me to do when I have sinned is to blame someone else for the sin that I committed. Or if I do take the blame for my sin, I live with a cloud of guilt over my head for the sin that I have done.
A verse that I’ve had memorized for many many years (and I’m sure you have too) is 1 John 1:9.
“If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.”
It’s a great verse to read, it makes us feel good sometimes. All we have to do is confess our sins to God and He will forgive and purify us. Sweet and simple right? Not all the time.
When is a time where it would be difficult to confess our sins?
Let’s break down this verse:
“If we confess our sins…”
Most of the time, confession is hard. We don’t want to admit that we’ve done something wrong, we like to think that we’re great and that we don’t have any issues with the sin in our life. But that’s far from the truth. In order to even reach the point of confession, we need to humble ourselves and admit that we truly were the ones who sinned.
Notice how it says, “if” and not “when.” What do you think the difference would’ve been if it would have stated, “when” and not “if”?
God already knows that we are going to struggle with this, but it’s ultimately our choice if we want to confess our sins. Because honestly, there are so many ways we try to avoid responsibility for sinning.
Here are four ways:
- Comparison –
We compare our sin to others in order to justify our right to sin
“I may be gossiping all the time, but it isn’t as bad as cheating on tests like Mike is doing.”
- Dodge Ball –
We blame other people for our sin
“I took the cookie before dinner because my sister was the one telling me I should do it.”
- Hides and Seek –
We run and hide from God because we don’t want Him to know what we’ve done
“I can’t confess this, because then God will know that I have sinned against Him.”
- Whack-A-Mole –
Believing the lies from the enemy that we have to pay for our sin
“Well I can’t take this to Jesus, I need to beat myself up for this and suffer because of this sin.”
Which of these do you find yourself most stuck in?
Is there a sin or an area of your life that you need to own up to and confess to God?
“…God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins…”
Man’s forgiveness (how we forgive) is not the same as how God forgives.
Sometimes people are reluctant to forgive us. They’ll say things like, “I’d like to forgive you, but it is really hard.”
How is God different? Look up Hebrews 8:12
Sometimes people forgive us but they don’t forget the sin that we have done to them. “You made that same mistake last Tuesday.”
How is God different? Look up Isaiah 43:25
Sometimes people may forgive one or two mistakes, but then we draw the line. “You’ve hurt me too many times, I just can’t be friends with you if you’re going to do this again.”
How is God different? Look up Lamentations 3:21-23
Sometimes people hold grudges against us for the sins that we have done. “I can’t stand you because of the hurt that you caused me”
How is God different? Look up Jeremiah 31:34
What would happen in our relationships if we began to forgive others as God has forgiven us?
God forgives instantly, God forgives completely, God forgives repeatedly. We don’t have to beg for it, we don’t have to bribe God for is, we don’t have to bargain for it. He simply wants us to be honest and come clean.
“…and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Look up Psalm 51:7
God makes us clean, but we have to be willing to humble ourselves, admit that we’ve sinned and confess it to God.
If we belong to Him, He’s already forgiven us on the cross. Why are we the ones remembering the sin when He’s already forgotten and forgiven us for it?
We’ve all messed up, we’ve all blown it and we have the scars to prove it too. But in spite of everything that we’ve done, Jesus still desires a relationship with us.
How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is going to love you and forgive you in spite of everything that we’ve done to rebel against Him?
Keep confessing, repenting and walking in the Spirit,