This guest post on Why Admitting You’re Wrong Can Be Freeing was written by Rachel Sinclair. Y’all are going to love it! You can follow her on social with the links at the end of the post. Enjoy. 🙂
I hate being wrong.
In general, I feel like I’m a good person. I genuinely care about others, and I try to be kind. I am a hard worker, striving to be competent and honest in all I do.
That’s why it’s so discouraging when I realize that I’ve messed up. The reality that my mistakes hurt others and that my sin grieves the heart of God can be overwhelming. I am embarrassed because I should’ve known better. I feel silly and stupid, like an immature child swayed by a gimmick that doesn’t even matter.
So what’s easier than looking sin in the face and calling it out for what it is? Ignoring it, making excuses, downplaying its severity, and blaming others.
We do this with “small” sins all of the time. Sometimes we let anger get the best of us in rush hour, or we spread a bit of gossip. We are lazy and scroll Instagram instead of reading the Bible. Who doesn’t? We chalk it up to being human.
But how often do we let sins––of all shapes and sizes––sneak into our lives and take up residence? Why are we reluctant to admit that we’ve sinned, and more importantly, what are we missing out on when we neglect to deal with it?
CALLING SIN OUT
This might sound strange, but one day I had the realization that, as a believer, I don’t have to be afraid of sin.
Don’t misinterpret that statement as saying we don’t have to take sin seriously. Sin is extremely serious. We serve a God who takes sin so seriously that He sent His Son to die in order to pay the penalty for our sin. Why couldn’t God have decided to look past the sin of humanity and let us into heaven anyway? Because He is fully just, and sin is real with real consequences. We are not to take it lightly.
My realization was that Christians do not have to live in fear of sin. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
If we are anxious about sinning in the future, we have the Holy Spirit to equip us, protect us, and give us power to resist temptation. If we are afraid about a sin in our past, we have not fully accepted God’s all-encompassing mercy and grace. We are to be vigilant and on guard against sin (1 Peter 5:8), absolutely. But we need not fear it.
If we don’t have to fear sin, that means that we can and should acknowledge it in our life. No more running away, no making excuses, no deceiving ourselves. The sooner we call sin out for what it is and repent, the better we will be.
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I encourage you to memorize this verse and preach it to yourself until you believe it with your whole heart. God promises to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. What a relief!
DISCIPLINE, FREEDOM, & FORGIVENESS
Even after you repent, you may still experience the consequences of your past decisions. However, you can be filled with assurance that you’re now walking in obedience, and you can run to God to give you wisdom.
Proverbs 3:11-12 tells us, “Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe his discipline; for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” Did you catch that last part? God is our Father who loves and delights in us. His discipline is only for our good.
Part of moving past sin involves confessing, not only to God, but also to others. If you have hurt someone through your actions, you need to confess that you were wrong and ask for their forgiveness.
Have I mentioned that I hate being wrong? Well I especially hate admitting that I was wrong to others! Why? Pride, pride, and some more pride. However, once I’ve asked God for forgiveness, seeking forgiveness from others feels good, because I know it is the right thing to do.
Once you experience God’s forgiveness, you’ve tasted true freedom. You aren’t afraid to share how you messed up, because you know your image doesn’t matter. It’s all about God instead of all about you.
DON’T WASTE ANOTHER DAY
While the process of bringing sin to light can feel uncomfortable, you will soon jump up and down in freedom, throwing off the chains of darkness and basking in the glow of God’s grace. Take it from someone who has tried to outrun sin: it does not work. Spend some time with God, and use the Scripture below as a starting point. He will bring you into light, healing, and freedom.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Stay in touch!