1 John 1:8-10
I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. 1 John 2:12
Confessing sin isn’t something you do in order to be forgiven. In Christ, you are already forgiven of all sin—past, present, and future. Confession means that as you sin, you agree with God that it was wrong. You experience humble gratitude for Christ’s gift, a fresh feeling of forgiveness, and renewed fellowship with God. Do you know how to confess your sins in this way?
Assume full responsibility for your actions. Only when you realize that you are guilty can you feel His forgiveness. Self-justification and blame of others become stumbling blocks to spiritual freedom.
Don’t generalize the sin. Instead of saying, “Forgive me for what I did wrong,” be open and honest. Take time to think through your actions and isolate the real sins involved. Say, for example, “Forgive me, Lord, for lying to my friend.” Of course, God doesn’t want you to dwell on your sin, but identifying it clearly will help you be more wary in the future.
Don’t wait until a better time. Confession before the Lord is an activity for right now, the moment the Holy Spirit convicts you of a sin. Why? The longer you carry the guilt, the farther away from God you feel. Go to Him for restoration immediately. Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your Savior is a vital part of your spiritual health.
Lord, never let me carry around needless guilt. Help me to be honest.