It’s uncomfortable and unpopular to admit when we’ve made an unwise religious or moral choice and more often than not, we don’t want to call it what it is—sin. 1 John 1:9 reminds us that God has a better way forward. When we sin, we have the opportunity to make a different, more wise choice. That’s the choice to go to the person we’ve wronged to make it right, then turn to God in prayer and ask Him for forgiveness. Then we can adjust our course and keep moving forward. Is there any sin in your life that you need to surrender to God? Take time now to do just that and recalibrate your life around God’s grace.
We are not mistakers in need of correction. We are sinners in need of a Savior. We need more than a second chance; we need a rebirth. Psalm 139:24 reminds us that when we try to manage life on our own, it doesn’t work. The sooner we embrace the fact that we are sinners, the sooner we can engage in God’s grace. Take a quick inventory and ask yourself: Are there any areas of my life where I am not letting God lead me? Create some room in your schedule to pray and ask God to help you manage your life in those areas. Ask Him to take the lead and reroute you toward the wise path that He wants you to take.
Jonathan Merritt says, “We cannot understand what we will not name, and we cannot confront it unless we name it rightly. By acknowledging sin exists, we affirm our common condition, recognize that no one is better than another, and recommit to work for the flourishing of all. By speaking it out loud, we admit that life is not always as it should be. By confessing it, we remind ourselves that forgiveness is always available to everyone.” Proverbs 28:13 points us to that path of confession with an outcome of compassionate love and mercy. Think about what this verse means to you and embrace the next step, whatever that may be.
Sin is powerful, and it is never self-contained. It never just affects the person that sins; it always hurts others as well. The trouble is, when we hold our sins behind closed doors, we don’t embrace the forgiveness and renewal that God promises. Read over Psalm 130 today and turn it into a personal prayer. Be open to re-evaluation and repentance. Allow yourself to put your whole hope and trust in the power and promise of God’s forgiveness and renewal. Then, reach out to a trusted mentor or friend and let them know what you are struggling with. Ask them to help you develop accountability around those struggles.
John 10:10 reminds us that Jesus wants us to have life and have it abundantly. While we may look at repentance from sin as a means to knock us down so we can wallow in guilt and self-loathing, Jesus intended for it to be a way forward to a fresh start. Think through any areas of your life where your sin may be keeping you from experiencing fullness and joy. Do you need to set healthier boundaries in an area of your life to embrace more peace, joy, and the wonder of God? Go to God in prayer and ask Him for wisdom, courage, and faith to make a move toward a fresh start when it comes to those areas.
TALK IT OVER
- What’s the dumbest mistake you’ve ever made?
- Do you find it easy or difficult to forgive people who hurt you?
- What are some euphemisms people use today for sin (e.g. “white lies”)? Why do you think people use them?
- Why is the concept of sin important?
- Why do so many people push back against the concept of sin?
- How have you seen the effects and/or consequences of sin in your own life or in your family history?
- How does/can trusting God’s love for you affect your relationship with Him in regard to sin?
- What thoughts/ideas/images first come to mind when you hear the word “repent?”
- Share a time in your life when you remember making a conscious decision to turn away from something you knew was wrong and you choosing a different way instead.