One of the marks of taking responsibility for yourself is what you do when you find that you've messed up and you've sinned. Whether it's a big sin or a small one, how long does it take for you to fess up to that?

How long does it take for you to ask others' forgiveness when you hurt their feelings?

How long does it take for you to ask God to forgive you when you've violated His law?

First John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

He is faithful and just to forgive you. He's ready to forgive you, but He's looking for you to be responsible when you're wrong instead of pointing the finger to another person and saying, "He made me do it."

Proverbs 28:13 says, He who conceals his sin does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

What happens to many Christians is they start sinning against the Lord and against other people, but they pretend they're not. They try to hide it from God and from other people, and they wonder why their lives get all messed up.

They wonder why things don't go well for them, why there's no blessing on their lives, why things get taken away from them. They don't understand why they're affected in areas that don't have anything to do with the sin they committed. But the point is, when you sin you won't prosper. God's blessing won't be on your life. Proverbs 13:15 says that the way of the transgressor is hard.

The mark of a Christian's growing up is his quickness to come clean. He doesn't try to hide a guilty conscience. As soon as he feels a little bit of conviction from God, BOOM, he repents.

If you hang onto the conviction from the Lord when He's trying to get rid of something from your life, pretty soon you can get a hard heart in that area, and you won't even think you've done anything wrong.

A mature believer is someone who is quick to repent as soon as he feels conviction from God about how he treated another person or what he's done against God.

Source: Mature Christians Are Boring People...And Other Myths About Maturity In Christ by Ron Luce.
Excerpt permission granted by Albury Publishing