Some sins are easier dealt with if we share them with a trusted godly person. The Bible encourages us to do this but it can be difficult. We fear judgment. Pride gets in the way. Or we’re planning continue in sin therefore we’re not interested in confessing to God or another human being. People who make this choice slam the doors to secret sin rooms. But hiding sin always leads to disaster. Sooner or later, those doors fly open and the sin is exposed as happened in the story that follows.
Two Christians sang in the choir. He sat on the board. She taught Sunday School. Both, along with their spouses and children participated in their church’s activities. Both were admired. Unknown to all, they were in a years-long sexual relationship. By the time the lid blew off their sinful secret, they had a child who was being raised to believe that her mother’s husband was her father. For years their sin remained secret. Both had many opportunities to make things right with God and end their relationship. Neither did. In the end, a many people were hurt by their sin. If one of the parties in this relationship had sought godly advice early on and ended the affair, damage would have minimal.
Everybody sins. It’s how we deal with sin that matters. It helps to have godly friends who without condemnation will urge us to take the steps that will put us back into a right relationship with God.
First, we need to face God with our sin. I John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, God will forgive us.
Then, we need to stop the sin. Sin can get complicated. We can come up with dozens of excuses why we can’t stop living in sin. Here’s where we need to lean on God for strength to take one step, then another and another away from sin until all the threads that attach us to the sin have been broken. This can be an incredibly difficult journey but the destination, peace with God, makes it more than worth than effort.
If our sins have hurt others we need to ask their forgiveness. And not just to unload our guilt. That kind of self-centered behavior may have caused the sinful behavior in the first place. In some cases, a person’s sins are just that – personal – and sharing them with family would only cause unnecessary pain. Often the best way to say I’m sorry to others is to change.
The sinful relationship between these two people finally ended with exposure. When confronted, both parties confessed their sin to God, came clean with their families and ended the affair. Of course, the journey back to integrity has been a long and painful one. I wouldn’t be surprised if at this point, many years later, they are still dealing with some of the fall-out from their sin.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:26