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Five Tools for a Healthy Heart - Part One

“Confessing sin is not informing God, it is agreeing with him.”

Derek Cleave

God is a good Father who instructs us to make emotional heart health a priority in Proverbs 4:23 and then sprinkles throughout His Word the tools to use to accomplish that. Like any tools for a carpenter, they only work if we use them.

Confession of our sin and repentance are the tools we use to heal our hearts from guilt and to restore our relationship with God. Confession is how we take responsibility for our disobedience by acknowledging and agreeing with God about our sin and seeking His forgiveness. When we don’t confess our sin and try to hide it from God, it eats away at us and internally destroys us (Psalm 32: 3-5). 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” There is no sin too great that God cannot forgive.

Repentance is a 180 degree turn away from sin and turning toward God. Romans 2:4 says, “It’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance.” Repentance is a gift because it frees us from guilt and provides us with a restored relationship with God through His forgiveness. I used to look at repentance negatively, because it pointed out my defects which emphasized my feelings of shame. Now I see it more from God’s perspective.

Genuine repentance is godly sorrow over your sin, not just being sorry for the consequences you’re reaping from your sin. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). Repentance is a change in your thinking that aligns with God’s Word, resulting in a change in your behavior.

The easiest time to repent is right after you’re convicted, just like the easiest time to scrape dishes is immediately after using them. If we wait and let the dirty dishes sit in the sink overnight, the food hardens making it much more difficult to wash. Likewise, if we wait to repent, pride can come in and harden our hearts, convincing us we don’t need to repent.

Instead of sweeping your sin under the rug of your heart, use the tools of confession and repentance to restore your heart.

“Repentance must be something more than mere remorse for sins; it comprehends a change of nature befitting heaven.”

Lewis Wallace

Relevant Reflection:

What sin do you need to confess and repent of so that you can receive God’s forgiveness and restore your relationship with Him?

Image by bluebudgie from Pixabay

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