Here is a lesson that Ive recently given my children (and the children at Church).
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This verse tells us we are to confess our sin. To confess means that we acknowledge that weve done something wrong we tell someone and the right person to tell is God. God wants us to tell Him that we know weve done something wrong. Remember the story in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve did something wrong God came to them and said, What have you done? He knew what they had done He knows everything but He wanted them to know what they had done, and to be truthful about it. He wanted them to confess to acknowledge it, to admit it and to tell Him about it. When we confess our sins, God will forgive our sins and cleanse us.
We need to be specific it is easy to gloss things over with words like I was disobedient or I did the wrong thing. God wants us to be truthful about our hearts we need to say what is going on.
We need to be humble acknowledging our wrong doing is a very humbling experience and one that we often wish to worm out of. When we are in a conflict (big or small) and everyone knows things are tense it is easy just to say sorry afterall they know what you are sorry for but acknowledging it, confessing it means putting it out there in the open.
We need to be assured the last part of this verse makes it very clear God will forgive us, and cleans us that is that . If doubts and niggles start coming back then we need to believe Gods Word He says He will forgive. It is a done deal. Believe it!
There are four steps to fixing a broken relationship (afterall that is what sin does it breaks relationships: vertical relationships between God and man, and horizontal relationships between man and man).
- Confess admit what it was you have done wrong
- Repent say you are sorry and are committed to changing
- Ask for forgiveness (and receiving it when it is offered)
- Restore assuring the other person of your commitment to them and your relationship, fix anything tangible
It is easy to just say sorry and move on. But when we go through all four steps we thoroughly deal with the sin in our heart.