The night before Jesus was crucified, two of His disciples turned against Him. Judas betrayed Christ, leading His enemies to Him in the Garden (Lk. 22:47-48). And Peter denied three times that he even knew the Lord (vv.57-60).
But the difference in what they did next was enormous. Peter wept bitter tears of repentance and later was gently restored (v.62; Jn. 21:15-17); Judas hanged himself (Mt. 27:5).
When we commit a sin, the most important thing is what we do next. If we lose our temper and say something cruel to a family member, what do we do next? If we mistreat a co-worker, what do we do next? If we find we are dwelling on evil thoughts, what do we do next? To make excuses, to justify our bad behavior, to blame the other person, or to ignore God is only to add more sin to the first.
Perhaps as you’ve been reading this, the Holy Spirit has brought your attention to some sin in your life. If so, you’re faced with a choice—to repent and confess it to God (1 Jn. 1:9), or to continue denying that you have a sin problem.
When you sin, don’t compound it with another sin. Take it immediately to the Lord in prayerful confession. The most important thing is what you do next!
For Further Study
In 1 John 1:8-10, what do we learn about ourselves?
How are we to react to sin in our lives? (1 Jn. 1:9).
What is the basis of our forgiveness? (1 Jn. 2:1-2).
Denial compounds our sin; confession cancels it.