Lenten Workshop Series #1 Confession
- Does your confession tend to be along the lines of “Forgive my sins, dear Lord” rather than specifically naming your sins one by one before the face of God? What does the lack of specific confession do to self-awareness?
- What experiences have affected your ability to give and receive forgiveness? Talk to God about what this means.
- When have you tasted the joy of forgiveness? What was that like for you?
- What is it like for you to confess your sins before a friend or confessor?
- Which of your sins hurts those closest to you?
- Imagine you are in a safe place, surrounded by the love of God. • Ask God to help you see yourself as he sees you. Remember he sees you absolutely and with love. • Using the Ten Commandments as a guide, journal your sins. When you have finished, go through each commandment one at a time, asking God to forgive you and help you to change. • Then burn your list in a symbolic act of what it means to have God remove your sins from you.
- Set aside some time for confession and self-examination. In the presence of God ask for light to pierce your defences. • Then ask yourself, Who have I injured recently through thoughtlessness, neglect, anger and so on? • As the Holy Spirit brings people to mind, confess your feelings about these people to God. Ask God to forgive you and if need be to give you grace to forgive them. • Write an apology; make a phone call or confess out loud in an attempt to put the relationship back on track.
- Turn to Psalm 32 or Psalm 51. Use the psalm as a way of bringing your own sins before God. • How does God meet you in these confessions of David?
- How in touch do you feel with your own sin? • If you feel out of touch with your sin, honestly consider where some of the following sins show up in your life: envy, lust, greed, gluttony, deceit, lying, exaggerating, envy, anger, pretence, avoidance of responsibility. • What do you see about yourself? How do you want to talk to God about these things? • Confess where you have fallen short of God’s expectations, and receive his forgiveness.
- Begin to notice your strong emotions. When do you feel yourself getting hot, defensive, angry, withdrawn? What is motivating your emotion? What behaviour stems from your emotion? • As you attend to this internal world, ask God to make you alert to what triggers strong emotional reactions. Confess any sin relating to these reactions. • Practice noticing your internal world, and begin to develop a habit of immediate confession.