by Heather Tietz
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
Alcoholics Anonymous, like many self-help organizations, knows that confession is the beginning of recovery.
“Hello, I am so-and-so and I am an alcoholic.” Each speaker introduces themselves this way. They know confessing opens the door for forgiveness. It is the beginning of healing.
It is humbling to realize we need to apologize. But without a confession, there can be no forgiveness. There can be no newness if there is nothing old to wipe away. There can be no saving if there is no need for a rescue.
Does God expect us to realize our every sin?
If we look at the way Jesus taught his disciples to pray in Matthew 6:12 we can see the answer.
Jesus didn’t list examples of sins. Of course, He didn’t have any, but perhaps His prayer was to show that an honest realization of our sinfulness as we kneel in God’s presence is enough. Like the alcoholic at the AA meeting, a simple acknowledgment that we struggle is enough. Add to that a soft heart toward anyone who has wronged us.
Then we have the key to God’s forgiveness and healing can begin.
I am a sinner.
Surely my day is filled with more wrongs than I realize.
I ask that You would forgive me as I have forgiven those who have wronged me.
Please help me not to repeat those sins again.
In Jesus’ loving name I pray, Amen.