‘Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.’ (vv1–2) Psalm 51:1–9

On recognising I’ve made a bad decision, my first port of call is confession. Sadly, like Adam, when confronted I rise up in self-defence and look to point the finger.Adam pointed one at Eve and the other at God: ‘The woman you put here with me’ (Gen. 3:12, emphasis added).

Our need to justify ourselves is strong, yet who can justify themselves before God? No one. Once we recognise a bad decision, the first thing we must do is acknowledge it. Our instinct is often to consider how we can either disguise it or lay it at someone else’s door.

This is deceitful, the currency of Satan. It takes courage to own our mistakes, yet everyone makes mistakes. Eve shows us the best way to respond (Gen. 3:13). Sometimes we are aware of the harm such decisions will cause, and here we must consider if we can make any restitution for the actual damage done. It may cost us something, yet it cost Jesus everything to reverse the curse of Adam’s poor decision making.

God, of course, already knows, so any excuses we make are merely an attempt to save face. And this is only ever for a human audience. God sees all and we are known for truly who we are. It may prove painful, but our ultimate purpose is to live at peace with God rather than serve some personal profile of our own imagining.

RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Gen. 3:1–13; Prov. 28:9–13; Jam. 4:7–12; 1 John 1:5–10.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: Take time each evening to review your day and consider if there are things to confess to God.

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, forgive my sins (name any that come to mind) and cleanse and restore me. Amen.’

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Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.