Talking With Your Disciple About Sin | Part 2
This is the second of three articles in this series
Every Christian at some point will look back on their life with some remorse or regret. They may think about what could have been had they only walked with God at a deeper level at a certain time in their life. There may be regret from not trusting in Christ earlier in their life. They may regret that when they knew better, as a believer, they did not fully submit to His leading and thus made decisions they wish they could change.
These feelings of regret and sorrow can cast a shadow on our walks with God now. Then can even impede what God wants to do in our lives in the future. It is important as a discipler in another person’s life to address this regret issue with truth from the Bible.
Resting on Truth From the Bible
The below set of verses from the book of Psalm is a great place to begin this discussion.
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
Each line of this Psalm, written by King David, is truly dripping with love and forgiveness from God. This passage describes God as compassionate, gracious and slow to anger. It says His love is higher than the heavens for those who fear him. We need to note here that fear in the Old Testament, where this book of Psalm is located, means faith and reverence for God, not a fear such as being scared or fearful of something bad happening.
This passage goes further to explain how God removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. How far is the east from the west? Exactly-incalculable! This is great news as when I confess my sins to God, and when your disciple confesses their sins to God, they are removed! We are the ones who tend to bring them back up and beat ourselves up for them ... not God! This passage can truly give us great hope that God loves us, removes our sins from us and has compassion on us.
Forgetting What is Behind
In Philippians 3:13-14 Paul says, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Christians who live in shame and guilt over past failures are needlessly condemning themselves. Referring your disciple to Paul’s words here to “forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead” can be most helpful.
Be intentional about teaching your disciple these truths from scripture. You have no idea what she may be beating herself up about and most likely, not feel totally comfortable talking to you about her past mistakes. Be quick to share with her something from your own life you regretted, but confessed, gave to God, and trusted that He removed from you as far as the east is from the west!
Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.