We all blow it. For us as Christians, what often makes it worse is that we knew better—but we did it anyway. Nobody forced us. We chose it. Now we’re feeling regret.
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The emotional fallout we experience from grieving the Spirit of God feels like a literal weight on our souls. It’s not a weight of shame as much as it is sorrow—disappointment with having not loved Jesus enough to obey Him.
If we take the proper next step, we’ll recognize our folly and confess our sin to God.
But it’s important we know why to confess—as well as the best next step after you confess to God.
Why We Confess to God
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you don’t confess your sins in order to guarantee or to keep your place in heaven. Our forgiveness of sins that would condemn us took place on the cross when Jesus died in our place (Rom. 8:1). Instead, we confess in order to restore our fellowship with God—not our salvation.
The result of our confession? He promises immediate forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
But before we move on—before we slather grace over our lousy mistake and forget it—I’m suggesting we linger a little longer over our sin.
Why to Linger Longer Over Your Lousy Mistake
When you blow it, after you confess to God, take a moment and drink deeply from the emotional sorrow you feel in that moment.
Take a good stiff jolt from the bottle of emotional regret, and—if may offer a disgusting metaphor—spit the emotions back out as backwash in the bottle and cap it tightly. Keep your mental bottle handy for future moments of temptation. But remember:
- It’s not a mental guilt bottle but a sorrow bottle.
- It’s a bottle for emotional reminders.
Why? Because sin and temptation would have you forget how grievous it feels to step out of fellowship with God.
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Temptation will only hold up for you the “good” feelings of release, thrill, and excitement, without having you remember the awful feelings of regret, failure, and aloneness that follow willful sin.
See if this sounds familiar:
You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. —Genesis 3:4–5
Remember who said that? Satan would have us sidestep the grievous, evil fallout in order to gain a temporary “good.”
Blowing it brings regret, but don’t miss its benefits
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and a lack of joy comes when we grieve God’s Spirit through willful disobedience (Gal. 5:19-22; Eph. 4:30). Joy in life—the emotional enjoyment of a walk with God—is inseparably linked to obedience.
It’s helpful to linger longer over our lousy mistakes so that we’ll remember that the bait always—always—hides a hook.
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