7 A’s of Confession

Living at peace with God, ourselves, and others is essential for our witness for Christ.  Everything God does He does in love. He is always working things out for the good.  Even in the midst of conflict, if we allow Him to, He will work things out for our good.  Acts 2:23 reminds us that God is always in control.  That verse says, “this Jesus delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”  Through the death of His Son Jesus, He worked out our salvation.

     To be able to live at peace with God, ourselves, and others we must learn and practice the discipline of confession.  Confession brings freedom.  Confession gives us hope that broken relationships can be healed and restored.  Confession must always be sincere and from the heart.  It is important to remember that we are sinful and through Christ’s death on the cross we have been forgiven.

     For most of us, confession of our sin is a daily practice.  Palm 139:23-24 should be our daily prayers.  “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”  It is important to examine ourselves honestly and confess our sins when we are wrong.  Confession is not always easy, but it can bring freedom and help us to be reconciled to others.

     Ken Sande has put together the 7 A’s of confession.  You can use them as a checklist for making good confessions, ones that are both freeing and reconciling.  Confession that is Godly can transform our heart and lead to a change in our behavior.  Here are the 7 A’s:

  1. Address everyone involved that has been affected by your sin or with whom you need to be reconciled.
  2. Avoid if, but, and maybe.  In other words, don’t make excuses for your behavior or what you have done.
  3. Admit specific actions and attitudes that have caused you to sin or led to the broken relationship.
  4. Acknowledge the hurt you have caused by expressing sorrow to the person you have hurt.
  5. Accept the consequences of your actions.  Do what you can to make things right.
  6. Alter your behavior.  In other words, change your attitudes and actions. Have a plan of repentance that leads to change.
  7. Ask for forgiveness and allow time.  At this point you turn everything over to the other person and it may take time for them to accept your forgiveness so that reconciliation can take place.

Finally, don’t confess just to make yourself feel better.  Always do it to glorify God, to minister to others, to bring healing to others, and to comfort those you have wronged.  As a result, you will find freedom.  Proverbs 28:13, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

 Buddy Hunt is the East Regional Ministry Partner for Oklahoma Baptists. He can be reached at bhunt@oklahomabaptists.org.

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