The 6th basic discipline that I teach is “Examine your life for sin, and confess all known sin to God everyday”. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.That is about as succinct and clear as a verse gets. The key word is the first word of the verse, “if”, because most don’t. The first thing Adam did when he sinned was to hide, and then when confronted by God for his sin he blamed his wife. We are so prone to protecting ourselves that denying, blaming, hiding, justifying, and ignoring our sin is what we do naturally without any teaching or coaching. That is why this is a “discipline” because if we don’t discipline ourselves to do it we won’t.
Unconfessed sin results in a conscience that grows more and more calloused and insensitive to sensing God’s pleasure in us, our prayers are not answered by God, we will have a hard time understanding the Bible when we read it, God puts us on the bench and doesn’t use us, we feel tired, sin gets a tighter and tighter hold on us and we can’t seem to help ourselves, we will begin to doubt God, and we will move farther and farther away from Him in our love.
I practice this discipline right before going to bed each night by replaying the day in my mind. Most of the sins I commit now are with my mouth and in my thoughts. I am not obsessing over every little slight, but I do want to be totally transparent with God, after all He already saw it. I journal regularly attempting to look at myself as a third person and write what I did, said, and what I thought, and then I write what I should have done, and a commitment to do it that way the next time I find myself in a similar situation.
Faithfully practicing this discipline each and every day results in a healthy soul, and a steady growth in character and righteousness before God. A man who faithfully practices this discipline grows stronger every day in his love for God, he becomes more and more secure in who he is, and becomes transparent and stops being an image manager. There are so many blessings that come into our life from God when we confess all known sin to God everyday.