Have mercy on me, Lord and forgive my sins.
Sins through my thoughts, words, actions and inactions.
What I have done and what I have failed to do -
including those I don’t remember.
Believe it or not this is how I’ve prayed for forgiveness for a long time, until recently. Looking closely at the above prayer it encompasses everything actually. As a result, I didn’t exactly see the need in telling God that I took extra meat from the pot when I wasn't asked to because I mean, He is all knowing. Now imagine if someone overheard me in confession telling God stuff like:
"I lied, so that my brother and not I would be punished"
"I wasn’t where I said I was going to be at a particular time."
Wouldn't that be weird? I mean, God knows all this already so why prolong the talk?
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"
1 John 1:9
Confessing our sins, I've come to realize isn't best done by generalizing. We actually should tell God all about it; sometimes even, what you felt during and after. Admitting where exactly we've gone wrong is the first step to total repentance and contrary to popular belief, confessing our wrongs doesn’t make us seem weak before Him. We actually are weak and He's cool with that - promising even to provide strength for us then.
"If we say that we have not sinned we make Him a liar
and His word is not in us."
1 John 1:10
A friend of mine told me recently about how he's currently on a journey of no shame with God. At first, that didn’t make any sense to me but after a while, I began to understand the importance of embarking on such a journey. God wants us to be open in ALL our dealings with Him, just as we would with our closest friends. Imagine hearing gist about your close friend and waiting patiently for them to tell you about it only for them to leave out all the details when they do - details you're already aware of. No one wouldn't feel hurt especially when they've been really open. Sadly, that’s exactly how most of us treat God. He knows you enjoyed the sex, so why hide anything while confessing? Tell Him how you only remembered Him and felt bad after the act, or how you felt no remorse lying to your boss. Of course, He already knows, so why not just be sincere?
"Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
We shouldn't be too proud or shy even, when we're with God so go on and tell Him about how you’re jealous of your friend’s relationship or how you wished that girl who was rude to you would have fallen off the stairs earlier today. He's not going to share your secrets with others. Tell Him and let Him begin the work of healing you. That’s what He wants most - a perfectly balanced fellowship characterized by total openness. A give-and-take relationship, you may, where it's not just Him revealing secrets to us but we're totally unashamed about revealing all our dirty secrets to Him.
P.s: This article obviously wasn't written by me. I remember reading it for the first time and being like "This has to go on the blog!". I've been blessed by it and I'm sure you too have. Thanks for reading!