As Christians, we are called to confess our sins to God, and not just once upon conversion, but as a discipline in pursuing holiness (1 John 1:9). I hope that you are all pleading with God to show you your sin so you can confess it to Him and move toward becoming more like Jesus. But let’s not operate under the illusion that feeling sorry for your sin and confessing it to God is going to suddenly prevent you from committing that sin again, like some kind of sin repellent. We have been known to feel the intense pressure of guilt and cry out in agony to God for forgiveness only to turn right around the next day and sin in the exact same way. If we are going to follow after Jesus we must walk in the light, and part of that is actually repenting of ours sins (i.e. changing direction) (1 John 1:7). Perhaps you’ve heard it said that as saved sinners we are not sinless, but we should be sinning less as we grow.
So how can we be better repenters and not just confessers? When God shows you your sin, confess it, ask His forgiveness, and then make a plan for what you will do the next time you are tempted to sin the same way. Making a plan to not sin the next time should include things like… the Bible verses you will preach to yourself, the things you will choose to remember about God’s love for you and His hatred of your sin, the place you will go to remove yourself from the environment of the temptation, who you will call to get some encouragement, and the specific choice you will make instead of sinning. By doing this we will make ourselves alert against our own sinful heart and Satan who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Church, let us be prepared with a plan for the next time we are tempted, because there will be a next time, but make sure that you put that plan into action by the power of the Holy Spirit and for the glory of God!