Honest Confession and True Repentance

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Genuine Contrition
by Joni Eareckson Tada
Dear Dewey,
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
Proverbs 28:13
When Ken and I get into a disagreement, it doesn’t often erupt into a torrent of nasty words. Rather, it leads to an icy silence. There have been evenings when he will hide behind his fishing magazine, and I will find solace in a book. But the eerie quiet in our home never lasts beyond bedtime and “lights out.” Before we say goodnight, one of us will finally break the frozen silence with a “Can we talk?” What a relief! Neither Ken nor I can bear it any longer. We are the perfect picture of Psalm 38:4, 18 where the psalmist confesses, “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear…I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.”
It’s during those times of confession and forgiveness that our love for each other always deepens. He will sit on the side of the bed and confess his selfishness… I, in turn, will ask him to forgive me for my stiff-necked, stubborn pride. The most powerful moment then comes when we both acknowledge our sin before Almighty God. Psalm 51:4 reminds us, “Against you, you only, have [we] sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” That’s when the love of God overwhelms us with a renewed appreciation for His awesome mercy and majesty! And, finally, when Ken and I turn out the lights and kiss goodnight, we find our love for each other is renewed, as well.
Genuine contrition involves two things: honest confession and true repentance. Confession is an acknowledgment of personal wrongdoing before God and those we’ve injured. Repentance is a change of mind, as well as changed behavior. Do you need to make personal amends with anyone today? Remember, genuine contrition will ultimately result in a deeper appreciation for God’s mercy, for His love… and an appreciation and love for the one we’ve hurt.
Jesus, give me a spirit of humility to approach today those I’ve shunned or injured.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Pearls of Great Price
Copyright © 2006
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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