Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Steps to Confession and Repentance

Part of the Christian journey with God consists of confession and repentance.

Confession is agreeing with God that what He says is right and that you are doing things that go against His Word.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9 NLT).

It’s important to confess because your sin puts a wedge between you and God. Your sin is like a splinter that needs to be removed. If you leave it untouched, it will fester and cause pain. When you confess to God, you are removing the splinter and allowing God to heal and grow this space with His Spirit.

Confession is not for God, but rather it’s for you. This act humbly positions you for change.

Repentance is change and means to turn away from your sin.

You can’t repent without first confessing your sin. Pride will tell you that you can skip over confession and make the behavioral changes yourself. After all, it’s the behavior change that’s sought after in repentance. Without confessing your sin to God and clearing the path for the Holy Spirit to be involved, you will fall short.

Just as a parent helps a child replace poor behaviors with good behaviors, the Holy Spirit helps you turn away from your sins and guides you toward doing things that please God.

You can miss out on God’s great purpose and blessings for your life when you live with unconfessed and unrepented sin.

There is no perfect way to confess your sins, rather just communicate with God as you would a friend. If you’re unsure how to start, use this example below to help shape your time with the Lord.

  1. Humbly come before God in prayer and tell Him about the sin you’re struggling with in your life.
  2. Express how sorry you are for committing this sin (whether it’s a one-time thing or you’re a repeat offender).
  3. Acknowledge that His way is right and that your way doesn’t honor Him and is offensive to Him.
  4. Ask God to help you stop this sin.
  5. Ask God to give you the strength to not only stop but to remove yourself from the temptation to sin.
  6. Ask God to help you understand how to build boundaries to protect yourself.
  7. And ultimately, ask God for His forgiveness.

God always forgives! Confession is the right thing to do, and it allows you to grow closer to God and receive the great blessings and purpose He has for your life!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24).


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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