We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
We may feel awkward about bringing our recurrent sins before God. We may be embarrassed by the number of times we've had to deal with the same issues—issues that stubbornly refuse to be washed away. We may imagine that God is collecting a long list to be used against us.
The apostle John wrote, "If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. [And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.] If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar" (1 John 1:8-10).
To confess means to agree with God that what he declares to be wrong really is. To do this, we need to recognize our wrongs when they occur. Notice that he says he will forgive us and cleanse of from all wickedness. Each time we confess a sin it is washed away. Our lives are like slates that have been wiped clean. Our sins are not recorded on some celestial list. They're gone forever! And each time we confess a sin we've dealt with before, it's forgiven all over again. Some areas of our lives need more cleaning than others! God doesn't get angry when we come back to him again and again. This is the process he set up to cleanse the areas in our lives that cause the most trouble. There's no need to feel awkward. God wants us to come every time we sin.
Confession opens up our hearts to God's cleansing power.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.