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An Outline for Repentance (Part 3): Sins of Commission

repentance-sins-of-commission

In the last post, we began taking the first step toward repentance—reflecting on our lives with prayerful self-examination. (If you missed Part One of this series on repentance, I recommend reading it prior to reading this post.)

We prayed over a list of ten sins of omission, listening to God’s convicting voice regarding any unconfessed sin. In this post, we will pray through a list of sins of commission.

Consider Them One by One

Our sins were committed one by one. And as much as possible, we should review them and repent of them one by one.

Pray over the list below, ask God to show you if you have committed any of these sins, and listen with an honest, open heart.

When a sin you’ve committed comes to memory, write it down. Be sure to name your sin to God specifically. For example,

  • “Father, I rebelled against you when I did _____. “
  • “I am harboring bitterness toward ____.”

Don’t make any excuses for the sins you’ve committed.

“The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13, HCSB).

Sins of Commission

1. Rebellion against God. Rebellion is opposition to authority. In what ways have you tried to usurp God’s authority? How have you disobeyed Him? When have you not submitted to His will? (1 Samuel 15:22-23)

2. Lying. Any form of deception is lying. Have you, in any way, been dishonest with God? Have you been dishonest with others?

3. Cheating. When have you dealt with someone in a way you wouldn’t like yourself? This is cheating. “In everything treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Mt. 7:12, AMP).

Have you cheated your employer? Unemployment insurance? The government — the IRS, welfare, food stamps, social security? Have you made gains by fraud? Do you pay people fairly?

4. Murmuring / complaining. When have you grumbled, complained, or murmured against God? (1 Corinthians 10:10-11)

5. Bitterness. Do you harbor bitterness, resentment, a grudge toward someone? Is there any one you have not forgiven? Is there anyone you feel resentful toward? Is there someone about whom you have lingering hurt feelings? Are you allowing something to justify a wrong attitude toward someone? Are you keeping accounts, a record of wrongs?

  • “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:15, NIV).

Are you willing to ask forgiveness from anyone you have wronged in any way? (Matthew 6:12-14)

6. Bad Temper / Anger. Do you have an explosive temper? Do you ever carry hidden anger? Are you irritable?  Do you become impatient with others? Are you ever harsh or unkind? Do you have a critical attitude toward others?

  • “All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice” (Eph. 4:31, HCSB).
  • “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires (James 1:19-20, NLT).

7. Slander. When have you talked behind someone’s back about their faults without cause? When have you made false statements that have damaged a person’s reputation? This is slander. To tell the truth with the intent to hurt or injure is slander.

  • “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Mt. 15:18-19, NIV).
  • “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Eph. 4:31, NIV).
  • “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (Col. 3:8).

8. Vanity. Have you spent more time getting dressed to go to church than you have preparing your heart and mind to worship God at church? When have you cared more about how you look outwardly to others than how your soul appeared before God?

9. Love for things of this world. Love of possessions and things. How attached are you to your earthly possessions? How much of your value do you derive from your “things”? Do you view your possessions as actually yours? Do you feel you have the right to purchase things, use them, and dispose of them as you desire?

  • “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you” (1 Jn. 2:15, NLT).
  • “Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2:12, HCS).

10. Envy. Are you jealous of those who are in a higher position than you? Do you envy those who you feel are more talented than you? Maybe even those who seem to do more for God’s kingdom than you feel you do?

  • “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic” (James 3:14-15, ESV)

11. Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy includes being different in your public versus your private life. But it also means being disingenuous or insincere before God? Have you confessed sins that you never truly intended to stop committing? Have you raised your hands in worship only because you cared what others would think about you if you didn’t? Have you made commitments to God you never intended to keep?

12. Robbing God. Have you given less than a tenth of your income for God’s work? This is robbing God.

  • “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house” (Mal. 3:8-10, ESV).

Do you spend your prayer and devotion time every day doing other things instead? Do you squander the time God gave you to serve Him? Do you waste time on worthless pursuits? Do you spend God’s money on your lusts, or spend it on things you really don’t need? Have you withheld from God His due of your time or talents?

13. Idols. What have you loved, sought, or placed ahead of God? Your work, family, entertainment, hobbies, pleasures, yourself?

  • “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Mt. 6:33, ESV).
  • “Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind’” (Mt. 22:37, NLT).

Is there anything in which you have failed to put God first? Do you make decisions based on your own wisdom and desires, rather than seeking and following God’s will? Do any of the following interfere with your surrender and service to God—ambition, pleasures, family, friendships, desire for recognition or achievement, money, your plans? Have you idolized the work of man’s hands (Isaiah 2:8)?

14. Other Religions as Idols. Have you flirted with anything in the occult? Do you check your horoscope now and then? Have you tried to find false peace through meditation, Eastern religions, or philosophies?

15. Lust. Have you coveted a person sexually? Do you view pornography? Have you committed adultery? Lust is intense or unrestrained sexual craving. It is also an overwhelming desire or craving. Does a desire or craving for something master you in the slightest way—a desire for power, or food, or possessions? (Ex. 20:14, 17, NLT; Mt. 5:28)

In what areas of life is pleasing yourself your main focus? In your time? Your bank account? Your menu? Your entertainment choices? Pleasing oneself is the focus of lust. Lust is about about possession and selfishness. Whereas, as believers, our lives should be about selflessness. Lust is marked by greed, whereas holy living should mark our lives as believers.

16. Gluttony, lack of self control. Do you consume more food than your body requires? (Proverbs 23:20-21; 28:7) Are you addicted to food? Addicted to television, entertainment, reading, sports, exercise, alcohol or drugs? One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. (Gal. 5:22)

17. Pride. Pride is detestable to God. It’s a major offense to Him.

  • “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech” (Proverbs 8:13).
  • “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence” (Psalm 5:5).

Pride was the sin that was Satan’s downfall, and it’s not harmful to us today. A definition of pride is: “too high an opinion of oneself, or conceit; excessive self-love and arrogance because of imagined superiority.”

The antonym of pride—humility—also helps us better understand what pride is.

Humility, the Opposite of Pride

Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart…” (Matthew 11:29). The word for “humble” here means “lowly”—such as when a sinner recognizes his true condition and humbles himself. Jesus was humble, when in His incarnate state, He recognized His absolute dependence on the Father.

A derivative of this Greek word means “lowliness of mind, the esteeming of ourselves small inasmuch as we are so … the real estimate of ourselves.” A Hebrew definition for humility includes “bend the knee… bring down low, into subjection… subdue.”

Humility means lowering as opposed to the elevating of pride. It means recognizing one’s true condition, having the real estimate of oneself as opposed to thinking too highly of oneself.

To exercise humility is to respond to Christ’s love and subject ourselves to His authority so that we may be conformed to His character.

Pride cheats us of a walk worthy of our calling as believers. (Ephesians 4:1-2a)

Do you have low self-esteem? This does not preclude pride. We can have a pride problem disguised as low self-esteem. Pride is self-absorption. We can be absorbed with how wonderful we think we are… or how terrible we think we are.

Pride can manifest in actions such as: Demanding your own way. Being discontented. Feeling you know all there is to know and don’t need to learn anything. Refusing to admit when you’re wrong. Being bitter, unforgiving. Seeking your own glory, not God’s.

It also means elevating yourself and your will above God’s. Elevating your desires, your position, your opinions above God’s.

Every time you rebel against God and choose your way over His, you’re acting out of pride. You’re exalting your position, desires, and opinions above His—above what is real and true in the spiritual realm. You’ve bought Satan’s lie and adopted an opinion of yourself that is too high. You’re not, in reality, the ruler, owner, possessor and authority of your life. If you think you are, you do not have the real estimate of yourself.

Every time you put confidence in the flesh, you’re being prideful. Apart from Christ you can do nothing.

Pride is also thinking you have no need of God, or basing your acceptance from Him on your merits — feeling you have no need of His grace.

So ask yourself: Do you have the real estimate of yourself? When have you elevated yourself, your will, your desires, your agenda above God’s? Are you discontented? When have you put your confidence in your abilities, in the flesh? When have you refused to admit when you were wrong? When have you sought your own glory, not God’s? Are you self-absorbed, even if by feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem?

Other Sins to Consider: 

The following aren’t all sins of commission, but are important to consider.

  • Worry:  fretfulness, anxiety, worry (Matthew 6: 25-34)
  • Concern for what others think more than what God thinks: fear of man (Galatians 1:10)
  • Selfishness, self-centeredness “I, me, my, mine, myself” (Philippians 2: 21)
  • Strife, division (Galatians 5:15, 20)
  • Tolerated sin (1 John 1:8, Hebrews 3:13)
  • Impurity in thought, word, or deed (Ephesians 5:8-12)
  • Turmoil, arguing (Luke 22:24, James 3:16, 1 Corinthians 3:3)
  • Hard heart (Hebrews 3:15)
  • Cold heart (Revelation 2: 4)
  • Lukewarmness (Revelation 3:15-17)
  • Divided heart (eternal values vs. world’s values), double-mindedness (2 Kings 17:33; James 1:8, 4:8)
  • Friendship with the world, spiritual adultery (Hosea 4:12, 5:4)
  • Asserting your rights, going your own way (Isaiah 53:6)
  • Laziness, lack of discipline in studying the word of God (Acts 17:11,  2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Burnout, spiritual dryness, emptiness, works of flesh (Psalm 63:1, Jeremiah 2:13)
  • Fear (1 John 3:18)
  • Depression, despair, fainting (Psalms 77:3, 142:3)
  • Immaturity, instability (James 1:8-6, Ephesians 4:13-14)
  • Error, wrong thinking (1 Timothy 4:1, 1 John 4:6)
  • Joyless service, duty, drudgery (2 Chronicles 25:2)

“Repent, and turn from all your transgressions,
so that iniquity will not be your ruin.”
Ezekiel 18:30, NKJV

Confess and Ask Forgiveness

If you’re like me, there was not a sin on that list about which God did not convict you. As God brought to mind times you have committed these sins, did you:

  • Write them down?
  • Name each specifically?
  • Allow God to give you His sorrow over the sin? Allowing Him to help you love what He loves and hate what He hates?
  • Ask God to forgive you? And accept His forgiveness?
  • Resolve to change, asking God to free you from the power of the sin habit?

“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, ESV

Question:

  • What sins were you surprised by when God brought them to your memory? 
  • What sins were you tempted to justify and excuse? What sins were the hardest to admit and desire to change?
  • What sins grieved you the most when you saw them as God sees them?
  • Did you write them down and name them specifically? Did you ask God to forgive you and accept His forgiveness?

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