Release Guilt - Go to God in Confession

©Joy Dunlap

Bam! I heard and felt the hit as my head jerked back and forth. Stunned by having been solidly stopped while backing my car out of the garage, I looked in the rearview mirror.

Could this day get any worse? Uh, yessss.

That impact I felt?  It was my husband’s car. The driver’s side. Thankfully he wasn’t in it.

The hit wasn’t intentional, but it could have been avoided.

In most cases, if we analyze what happened leading up to regrettable choices we can get a good indication of the moves that took us there.  A series of flawed decisions can multiply to derail us from good judgement, and we end up with difficult and sometimes costly consequences.

Sure, I could look for excuses. Normally Charlie wasn’t home in the afternoon, so his car wasn’t usually parked there. I had a meeting I was running late for (did I mention Duke was losing the basketball game we were watching), and can I just ask… who plans a meeting in the middle of the NCAA tournaments in basketball country? Contributing factors perhaps.  But I made the choices that caused the crash.

I whipped out of the garage without looking in the rearview or side mirrors where I could have plainly seen my husband’s SUV parked directly behind my car.


I’d probably backed out of that garage more than 3,000 times in the afternoons with no car parked behind me.  But we’re most likely to trip, collide or fall when we start to believe no obstacles are around, and think we can move through life in whatever way we want as long as it meets our wants.

The Bible cautions us to remain alert and watchful.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

Confession time… I didn’t want to tell Charlie about hitting his car right then (or ever really).

Going inside and telling him will make me even later for the meeting.

But what if he comes outside and discovers the damage to his car while I’m gone?  

What if he gets upset and we get into an argument?

And, is Duke ahead yet? 

We’ve all done it. Messed up. Done something we’re ashamed off. Something we’re sorry for.  And, at times, we don’t want to talk to God about it. He already knows, right?!

But confession and repentance are more for us than God.  They clear our hearts and minds, so we don’t feel like hiding from God, and aren’t separated from Him.  We can hand over our guilt and grief to Him instead of harboring it.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:9-10 NIV

When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden against God’s specific direction, what did they do?  They tried to hide.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8 NIV

Remember Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. Don’t we sometimes try to blame our injurious choices and actions on others?

Can I just confess that for a moment I was frustrated at my husband for parking behind the garage in the driveway? If only he hadn’t…Whaaaat?  Thankfully, that thought came and went quickly before I voiced it!

What I’m glad I did is fess up right away and apologize.  Yes, there were consequences – it cost money and time to get the vehicle fixed. He wasn’t happy about it, but he showed grace.

Churchy words like sin and repentance and confession can seem unrelatable and make us cringe.  But we can all relate to messing up or making bad choices.

The question is not if we do, but what we do when we do.  How do we handle it?  With a spouse? With a family member? With a friend?

How do we handle it with God?

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NIV

What’s blocking the joy of your relationship with God?  Is there a mess-up you need forgiveness for?

Anger? Envy? Immorality?

Deceit? Greed? Idolatry?

Jealousy? Judging? Lying?

Stealing? Slandering? Complaining?

Disobedience?  Lack of trust?  Pride?

Those decisions and actions leave dents in us.

But God is in the repair and restoration business.

Talk to God.  Acknowledge the action.  Ask for forgiveness.  Thank God for His mercy and grace.

Then make a U-turn away from that wrongdoing and get back on the road of godly living God designed to bless and strengthen you.

Hold on to the truth that God loves you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5 NIV

  • When was a time you caused damage to another person’s property?
  • Is there a car incident in your past that’s memorable?
  • What burden or guilt are you carrying that you want to confess to God today?
  • Is there anything in your life that you need to U-turn away from with God’s help?
  • Who do you need to forgive?

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 NIV


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™

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