As I embarked on my 2024 planning, I encountered difficulties. Despite being a dedicated planner, I struggled to chart a clear course, leading to discomfort and unease. However, I’ve realized that these feelings shouldn’t impede my progress; instead, they may indicate that God is guiding me in unexpected directions or prompting me to make different moves than I initially intended.
This realization prompted a different move: confessing my mistakes in failing to follow through on some of my previous year’s plans. I’ve confessed in the past, but primarily for things I’d done, not for those I’d left undone.
Fortunately, I’m not alone in this journey. We’ve all made mistakes, big and small, that can evoke feelings of shame and guilt. We often try to conceal, neglect, or deny them. However, this approach only leads to further harm. Mistakes have a way of resurfacing and haunting us if left unaddressed. So, instead of trying to hide or fix them on our own, it’s beneficial to turn to God rather than conceal or attempt to rectify them on our own (1 John 1:9).
That’s why I chose to seek God’s forgiveness for these mistakes. God is loving and forgiving, offering grace and mercy to all who seek it. The Bible is full of stories of people who, despite their flaws, found redemption by turning to God.
Take King David, for example. He committed adultery and murder yet still found restoration and accomplished great things for God’s kingdom. Despite his shortcomings, he was deeply loved by God. Scripture even calls him a man after God’s own heart, as he consistently approached God with humility, confessing his sins. He understood that true repentance involves admitting our faults and seeking reconciliation with God, leading to healing and restoration.
So why do so many of us hesitate to follow this process? Perhaps it’s due to a fear of judgment or rejection by God. We may hold a distorted view of God, perceiving Him as harsh and unforgiving. However, 1 John 1:9 reveals that this is simply not the case:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Perhaps our distorted view of God is precisely why, after urging us to confess our sins, the Apostle John describes God as faithful and just. He wants us to understand the true nature of God concerning confession, which begins with faithfulness and justice. What does it mean for God to be faithful and just?
In this context, “faithful” conveys reliability and trustworthiness. It signifies that God consistently fulfills His promises and remains devoted to us in love. Despite our mistakes, God’s commitment to us never wavers; His love is unconditional and enduring.
We can take comfort in the unwavering nature of God’s faithfulness, which isn’t contingent upon our actions. Despite our numerous missteps or how far we may have strayed, God’s faithfulness persists. Therefore, when we earnestly confess our sins, we can wholeheartedly trust that God will honor His promise to forgive us.
Furthermore, God is not only faithful but just, meaning He fulfills His moral obligations towards us. God also calls us to uphold His standard, and when we inevitably fall short, He holds us accountable in a just manner. Upon confessing our sins, God doesn’t look the other way or dismiss them; instead, God addresses our mistakes equitably.
The question arises: How can a holy and just God extend forgiveness to undeserving individuals? The answer lies in the sacrificial act of Jesus on the cross. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus bore the weight of our sins and paid the ultimate price. As a result, God maintains His faithfulness in fulfilling the promise of forgiveness while upholding His justice. This balance is made possible through the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus, ensuring that God remains just in His forgiveness.
Understanding God’s faithfulness and justice toward us unveils the profound forgiveness and cleansing that arise when we run to Him with our mistakes. In this context, forgiveness signifies releasing someone from their obligation. Simply put, when we turn to God with our mistakes, He fulfills His obligation to release us from ours.
The truth is that God desires us to approach Him with our mistakes, enabling Him to extend forgiveness and steer us toward a path of restoration. By turning to Him, we open ourselves to genuine healing and renewal.
From personal experience, confessing my mistakes to God has brought about an overwhelming sense of peace and freedom. I no longer bear the weight of shame and guilt alone; I can entrust them to God and rely on His unconditional love and forgiveness. Through this process, I’ve not only learned and grown from my mistakes but have also been liberated from their hindrance.
By confessing our mistakes to God, we also open ourselves up to the cleansing effects of His forgiveness. “Cleanse” denotes purification. When we bring our mistakes to God, He forgives and purifies us from all unrighteousness. This means that upon confessing our sins, God not only forgives them but also absolves their stain from our lives, granting us purity in His eyes.
This purification is not a one-time occurrence; it’s an ongoing journey as we consistently seek God’s forgiveness for our mistakes. As we do so, God continues to cleanse our hearts and minds, shaping us in His likeness and guiding us toward a life that honors Him.
This ongoing purification is vital as it allows us to walk in the freedom and joy that springs from God’s forgiveness. It also empowers us to resist the temptation of repeating past mistakes. As we persist in approaching God with our mistakes and allowing Him to cleanse us, we become more attuned to His love and grace, fostering a deeper relationship with Him.
Confessing our mistakes may not be easy, but it’s necessary for true healing and restoration. By understanding God’s faithfulness and justice, we find forgiveness and cleansing. Through this process, we grow and become more like Christ. So, let’s run to God with our mistakes, without hesitation, confessing our sins.
In this new year, let’s consciously avoid hiding or denying our mistakes, knowing He always waits with open arms, ready to forgive and purify us. Instead, let’s run to God and experience His forgiveness and love. Remember, discomfort often guides us towards a better path and a closer relationship with Him.