My week has been pretty crazy as I prepare for a teaching trip to Ukraine. So, I trust you will pardon me for cutting and pasting from my class notes. The following is a bite-sized portion from the lesson entitled Guilt, Repentance, and Forgiveness.
As God opens our eyes to see how we have sinned against others, He simultaneously offers to us a way to find freedom from our past wrongs. It’s 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 of Confession from Peacemaker Ministries.
- 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 hurting someone)
- Accept the consequences (Such as making restitution)
- Alter your behavior (Change your attitudes and actions)
- Ask for forgiveness
See Matthew 7:3-5; 1 John 1:8-9; Proverbs 28:13.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: HELP! I’m In a Conflict