Confronting Sin: Signs of a Successful Confrontation

This short devotion explains what real repentance looks like.

Scripture tells us to confront sinning believers so we can restore them to a right relationship with the Lord (James 5:19-20). 

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently” (Galatians 6:1). 

The desired result of a confrontation is genuine repentance and restoration of the sinning believer. 

In 2 Corinthians 7:8-16, Paul explains that genuine repentance will cause “godly sorrow,” which means the person will be eager to do what’s right and turn from their sin. 

This is confirmed in James 4:7-10

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 

People who are genuinely repentant realize that their behavior has hindered their relationship with God. They're grieved and eagerly seek to turn from their sin. We see this in King David's repentance (King David's Key to a Healthy Faith).

Genuine repentance involves humbly confessing our sin, seeking accountability, and setting things in place to avoid temptation. It involves turning from sin, not simply acknowledging sin.

No matter how graciously we confront someone, they may respond in the spirit of Cain.” This makes our job more difficult, but at least we have done what God calls us to do (see Ezekiel 33:1-9).  


If you own Wisdom for Life, I encourage you to read or re-read Day 86.

This short devotion explains what real repentance looks like.

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