As an RD, mentor, and ministry leader, people confess to me on a regular basis. They aren’t seeking forgiveness or approval from me but rather desire to experience accountability, support, and freedom. It is a privilege and I don’t take that lightly. When people tell you the darkest parts of their lives, you have to handle it with grace and care. Unfortunately, I have not always done well with that but here are some things I’ve learned as I’ve dealt with confession:
- Listen: Shut up and listen. Don’t think about the 5 most effective Bible verses that combat that particular sin. Just focus on the individual and stay tuned in.
- Ask questions: Don’t assume anything. Questions let them know you’re listening.
- Push them towards Jesus: This seems like a no brainer. But if a person has not confessed to God before coming to me, I will stop the conversation and make them pray on the spot. He is the forgiver of sins, not me.
- Speak with grace: The conversation should be Gospel centered not sin centered. Again, push them towards Jesus.
- Speak the truth: Don’t sugar coat the Gospel. Share God’s anger toward sins but also His scandalous grace.
How do you cultivate a community of confession? What does that balance of grace and truth look like for you?