“He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13 NKJV)
There’s a problem with unconfessed sin – it alters how you deal with people, especially those you’ve sinned against. Sometimes, only you know the problem, but you keep wondering if the other person knows and is just waiting to give you grief about it at a more opportune time. Sometimes, it becomes the elephant in the room that everyone tiptoes around while waiting for you to acknowledge what you did and apologize. Too often we don’t apologize because we get this idea that if we don’t acknowledge our sin, people won’t know what we did or that life will go on as if it never happened. The opposite is usually true. People usually know who sinned against them, and even if they didn’t, you would know and that taints your relationship with your friend. You end up living on pins and needles and the relationship isn’t what it once was. Usually, friends have an amazing capacity for forgiveness. If you confess what you did wrong and apologize, you’ll usually get mercy and the relationship will be restored. If a friendship can’t endure those kinds of issues, then maybe it wasn’t such a strong friendship after all.
The message here is pretty clear: if you wronged someone, go and clear the air. Apologize. Let the other person know that you’re sorry and you won’t do it again. Either they’ll forgive you and the relationship will be restored, or they won’t forgive you and you won’t have to walk on eggshells to maintain a pretend friendship. At the same time, if someone wronged you and they ask for forgiveness, be willing to forgive immediately. There is nothing that imitates the love of God more than forgiving others.
Lord, I sure mess up a lot. I thank You that You forgive me. Give me the courage to apologize to those I sin against and give them the grace to forgive me. When someone sins against me, give me the grace to forgive them and show them Your love.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.