“Jesus . . . says our relationship with God hinges on our relationship with other people — the two are inseparable . . . . The truth is, you cannot resolve your differences with God if you’re unwilling to resolve you differences with other people around you. You cannot be in fellowship with the Father and out of fellowship with others over something you’ve done.”- Andy Stanley
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”- Matthew 5:23-24
As Andy Stanley concludes Chapter 11 of Enemies of the Heart, he stresses that God values relationships. In addition, God considers restoration a priority. Thus, this often requires confession – both to God and the offended party.
Furthermore, Andy exhorts, something remarkable happens when you swallow your pride and take that extra step. At that moment, guilt loses its foothold in your heart. And sin’s power is broken in your life. Also, Pastor Stanley asserts, when you start confessing your sins to people you’ve sinned against, odds are that you’re not so likely to go back and commit those sins again.
Therefore, the author explains what results when we choose to silently confess our sins to God:
“Maybe that’s the reason we would rather just confess our sins silently to God — it gives us an out. We can be repeat offenders without embarrassing ourselves. I say ‘maybe.’ In fact, that’s exactly why we confess our sins secretly. In many cases we know we’re going to repeat the offense.”
In conclusion, Andy reminds us that, in most cases, guilty people respond as repeat offenders. And as long as you carry a secret, telling only God how sorry you feel, you set yourself up to repeat the past. Only confession, as God designed it, breaks the cycle of sin and guilt.
Today’s question: What Bible verses sustain your fellowship with the Father? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Grace – no responsibility escape hatch”