It is not easy to have conversations about sin, particularly with God. Sometimes, the shame of our actions makes it hard. Other times, it is just hard coming up with the right words. It also is not easy to deal with the sins we have committed. Despite our fears and transgressions, the Bible tells us that God wants us to talk to Him about everything, including sin. The truth is God hates sin, not only because it dishonors Him, but it also damages us. Yet, the fact that God hates sin does not mean that He hates us when we sin.
Ephesians 4:30 reminds us that we can grieve God with our sin. Romans 8:1 also reminds us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” When Jesus died on a cross for our sins, there was no longer guilt, condemnation, and punishment for our sins. Christ took that on with His death on the cross. If we know that God is with us, we also know that He is not against us. We must deal with our sin, but we should be conscious that God loves us, even in our trespasses.
One of the ways we can deal with our sin is through prayer. We are given an outline for prayer in Luke 11:1-4. In this passage, one of the disciples asks Jesus to teach them to pray, just as John taught his disciples. Jesus replied, “When you pray, say, ‘Father, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11: 2-5). Notice how sin is a central focus of Jesus’ teaching on prayer? We are called to ask God for forgiveness, not only for our sins but for those that others commit against us.
While many of us acknowledge our sin in church each week, given we know that God forgives our sins, we too often accept our sin with little apathy because it is an accepted assumption that we’ll sin, and it’s ok because God forgives us. While our God is a loving and forgiving God, the presumption that God just forgives us no matter what we do and how much we do, it does not deal with the reality of sin. This mindset sabotages us by allowing sin to disappear from a place of concern. While God’s grace and forgiveness are a beautiful gift, it does not take away from sin’s gravity. It is important that when we pray to God about the sins we’ve committed, we are genuinely seeking repentance.
This prayer about forgiveness and sin can be a helpful starting place: Dear God, I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place, paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to You and ask You to send the Holy Spirit into my life, fill me and take control, and help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you, Father, for loving me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
What is excellent about this prayer is that it calls us to acknowledge our sin, while also calling us to us to seek God’s guidance in our daily lives and actions. Call on God to create a clean heart in You and mold you into the person He desires you to be. If we want to work on our sin, we must keep God the central focus in all that we do.
We must know that forgiveness of sin is the first and most profound kind of healing that Christ brings. To experience true healing, you need to make a personal call for change. This is a change in our actions and a change in our hearts. When we reach out to God about sin, we must listen to God and consider what we are lifting up to Him each day. Remember that prayer is a conversation we have with God, not solely based on God hearing what we have to say, but of understanding what God is saying to us.
Are we coming to God each day or each week about the same sins we have committed? What may God be trying to tell us through our pattern of sin, and our brokenness? The epistle to the Hebrews tells us that “God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2). The answers we seek can be found in God’s final word: His Son, who He speaks through.
Many of the questions we have concerning sin can be found in Scripture, and we can deal with our sin and brokenness by becoming closer to God’s Word. We cannot deal with our sin if we don’t know God, and God reveals Himself to us through His Word.