Confession Brings Freedom
Many people have never experienced the freedom of repentance and forgiveness. Why? It’s often because they never learned how to make a sincere and believable confession.
Instead, they say things like: “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” “Maybe I was wrong.” “Let’s just forget the past.” “I know I shouldn’t have yelled at you, but you made me so mad.”
These worthless statements seldom trigger genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. If you really want to make peace, ask God to help you breathe grace by humbly and thoroughly admitting your wrongs. One way to do this is to use the Seven A’s of Confession.
- Address everyone involved (All those whom you affected)
- Avoid if, but, and maybe (Do not try to excuse your wrongs)
- Admit specifically (Both attitudes and actions)
- Acknowledge the hurt (Express sorrow for hurting someone)
- Accept the consequences (Such as making restitution)
- Alter your behavior (Change your attitudes and actions)
- Ask for forgiveness
See Matthew 7:3-5; 1John 1:8-9; Proverbs 28:13.
Cultures view apologies in different ways, so always consider a culture’s views of confession before making a confession (as illustrated in this article on apologies in Japan).
Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict © 2004 by Ken Sande. All Rights Reserved. See Chapter 6 for more information on confession. Download Chapter 1 for free at this link.