Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Conflict Resolution By Confessing Sin

We’ve been talking about how to encourage each other and build each other up through the humble and loving use of correction. We’ve talked about conflict resolution, about confronting someone with a sin, and now we’re going to talk about confessing our own sin.

It’s hard to admit to sin sometimes, even to myself, let alone to God and especially let alone to other people. I know God loves me, and I know He’s promised to forgive me and take me back. In fact, I know God is committed to transforming me into a beautiful and holy person. Confessing to other people feels a whole lot riskier!

Here are ten pointers that can help you and me through this painful process.
1) It’s better to confess to someone before they come to you with your sin. As soon as you think you might have offended someone, or sinned against them, you need to go to that person and confess with the hope of reconciliation

2) Don’t just wait for this meeting to happen, arrange for a time to get together with this person

3) Confess your sin honestly, specifically and completely

4) Avoid glossing over what happened, offering excuses or generalizing. Saying “Sometimes I tend to be harsh” is not nearly as honest and humble as saying “I was harsh to you when I said that thing that I said”

5) The goal is not to clear your conscience but to gain reconciliation with the other person. When you have godly sorrow over your sin, in your heart, you will find this is a lot easier to do

6) Express your sorrow over what you did, and for what’s happened because of it, the consequences

7) Express your willingness to accept whatever consequences there are

8) Identify what you’ve learned from the whole experience

9) Tell the specific ways in which you are going to change as a result

10) Ask for forgiveness, even by saying “Will you forgive me?”

How can you help someone who has come to you with their own confession?

1) Tell that person you forgive them. Be sensitive to when saying “I forgive you” is better than saying “It’s okay” or “Don’t worry about it” because if an offense is truly involved, it’s not okay and it’s worth being concerned about

2) Thank them for coming to confess and seek your forgiveness. Affirm your love and respect for that person. It takes courage and humility to confess sins – to do so is to serve another and to help build godly relationship

3) Ask if that person has any offense towards you as a result of the incident, and confess any sin you may have contributed to the situation

4) Agree with that person that the whole episode is over, it’s been thrown into the farthest reaches of the sea, never to be seen again. You’re moving forward together, fully reconciled.

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation

1 comment:

  1. This is very helpful! It is very biblical, clear, and concise. Many people in America have either forgotten, or never learned, how to reconcile with others in a godly way.


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