Friday, April 27, 2012

Is Confession Enough?

"Mom, I need to confess something."

Those words from my 8 year old got my full attention. I turned around giving her complete eye contact and asked what it was. "You said I could have 1 piece of candy, but I got tempted and I ate half of a second piece, here it the other half," she said, handing me half of a marshmallow pole.

"Thank you for confessing this. I am proud of you, and I forgive you," I told her, throwing away the half eaten candy.  "Wait," she asked, "Can't I have the rest of it now?"  I almost laughed, but explained that no, she could not have the rest. I had told her one piece of candy, and while I appreciated her honesty, I meant one piece.  "But I thought if I told you I could have the rest...."

My precious child thought if she did the "right" thing, she would get the rest of the candy, guilt-free.  But that isn't the way confession works.  Proverbs 28:13 says, "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy."  Friends, confession alone is not enough. We must renounce our sin. Renounce means to formally abandon something. Another word we use is repent.  Repent means to change direction, and to turn away from our sins. 

The Apostle Paul asks, "Shall we go on sinning so that grace can increase? By no means!" We may not just confess our sins, but we must also turn away from them, and change our behavior. It has been said that "confession is good for the soul," and that may be.  But it is repentance that saves it.

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 
Hebrews 10:26

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at

Chatty Kelly


Amy @ themessymiddle said...

I see myself reflected in your daughter's response ... not quite as "cute" in a 44 year old!

Carmen said...

Lol (first comment). That analogy works really well! Kudos to your daughter for admitting her error...that takes a lot of integrity, especially at that age (even if she did think she could still have it)! :)

Kari Scare said...

This is a real struggle we are having with our youngest son. We have tried so many ways to get him to truly understand, but he continues to use "I'm sorry" as a crutch. I would love some fresh ideas. For some relevant background, he is 11, adopted, and been living with us for two years. Doing well making progress in other areas. Been a frustrating couple months.

Kelly Combs said...

Kari - Not knowing your son or his behavior I can't offer any concrete advice except to be consistent. But if you want to give him a "visual" Get a piece of wood, a hammer and a nail. Tell him the nail is his "offense" and drive it into the wood. Know tell him saying he is sorry is removing the nail from the wood. But see, even tho the nail is gone, a hole remains. So saying "I'm sorry" still leaves a hole - whether in your trust of him or whatever the issue is.

Of course, in our lives Jesus is "hole-filler" - but the goal for us it to stop making holes.

Hope this may help a tiny bit. God bless.

Kari Scare said...

He is a very visual learner, so that may be effective for him. Thanks for the idea!

MyADHDMe said...