If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Do you know what an epicenter is? The epicenter is the location directly above the surface of the earth where an earthquake begins. But I don’t want to talk about literal earthquakes today. Instead, I want to talk about the metaphorical earthquakes that can happen in our relationships.
The epicenter of every fault that causes every earthquake in our relationships is this: Sin is always against God first. You can sin against God and not sin against others, but every sin against others is first a sin against God. The first step that must always be taken to restore relationships, fix friendships, and mend marriages is confession. Confession in most cases always has two dimensions: vertical and horizontal. When our sin or our thought has hurt someone else, we must confess that sin first to God.
Listen to the first few words of today’s key verse, “If we confess our sins, he ...” The “he” that John is referring to is obviously God. Confession does not always end with God, but it must always begin with God. The reason for that is every sin, first and foremost, is always against God. Remember this principle: Whenever you sin against anyone full and final forgiveness only comes through confession to that one you have sinned against. Since our sin always begins with God, confession begins with God.
When you are in the wrong, or you have done someone wrong, the first person you should talk to is God. You should talk openly, transparently, and honestly as you confess your sins to Him. As painful as it may be, you’ve got to fess up to your mess up. You don’t have the right to remain silent before God. You can’t plead the fifth Amendment against God. If you want to come clean, you must confess completely.
Dear Lord, I want confession to become a routine in my life. I know I mess up every single day, but I don’t always confess my sins to you. Give me a humble heart and a sensitive spirit so that I might be quick to confess and repent of my mistakes. In Jesus’ name, amen.