Remember that our relationship with God is secure because of what Christ did for us, and not what we will do for God. Through Jesus Christ we are forgiven and accepted by God.
We have security in our relationship with God. He wants us to walk closely with Him. He wants us to communicate with Him each day. This is called fellowship.
Sin is the biggest threat to our fellowship with God. A simple definition of sin is doing whatever we want instead of what God wants, both in actions and attitudes.
When you say or do something to hurt a family member, it does not change the way that you are related to each other. But it will potentially damage how you relate to each other if you don’t address the issue quickly and honestly. In the same way, when we choose to sin, our position as God’s child is not affected, but our fellowship is interrupted.
Each of us sin. As long as we live in this world, we will struggle with temptation and sin. Learning to deal with our sin on a day-to-day basis helps us experience closeness with God.
It’s crucial to understand the difference between shame and guilt. Shame is having a negative view of who we are. God does not want his children to live in shame. He promises that “everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame” (Romans 10:11). In contrast, guilt is something God uses to prick one’s conscience. Guilt convicts us of the need to change a pattern of thought or behavior that is inconsistent with being a Christian.
So when we know we have sinned, what should we do? The Bible tells us to be honest with God about what we’ve done (confession) and ask Him to help us change direction (repentance).
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Agree with God that you have sinned.
Thank God for the forgiveness He has already promised you.
Ask God to change your attitudes and actions in the future.
Another way to practice this is called spiritual breathing. Breathe out the sin, breathe in the forgiveness and cleansing that Christ made possible.
Read Psalm 32:5, Psalm 103:12, and Isaiah 53:5-6.
What do these passages say about guilt and forgiveness?
How would your life be affected by applying these truths?
Jesus, thank you that you died on a cross so that my sins could be forgiven, and so I could have fellowship with God. Please make me aware of the times when I choose to go my own way rather than following you. Help me to trust in your forgiveness and please continue transforming my thoughts and my actions to make me more like you. Amen.
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