Some good, practical insight on repentance and confession from an unknown author:
Proverbs 28:13 reads,
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
As God opens your eyes to see how you have sinned against others, he simultaneously offers you a way to find freedom from your past wrongs. It is called confession. Many people have never experienced this freedom because they have never learned how to confess their wrongs honestly and unconditionally. Instead, they use words like these:
- “I’m sorry if I hurt you.”
- “Let’s just forget the past.”
- “I suppose I could have done a better job.”
- “I guess it’s not all your fault.”
These token statements rarely trigger genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. If you really want to make peace, ask God to help you breathe grace by humbly and thoroughly admitting your wrongs. One way to do this is to use the Seven A’s.
- Address everyone involved (all those whom you affected)
- Avoid “if,” “but,” and “maybe” (do not try to excuse your wrongs)
- Admit specifically (both attitudes and actions)
- Acknowledge the hurt (express sorrow for the pain you have caused)
- Accept the consequences (what liberties have you forfeited? where can restitution be made?)
- Alter your behavior (transgression must be confessed and forsaken)
- Ask for forgiveness (from God and from those affected by your actions)
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).