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CONFESSION 

We’ve all heard the word ‘confess’ come across our ears. Most times, the pastors in our church often preach that we should confess our sins, turn away from them and give our lives to Christ so he can become the center of it all. But let’s stop focusing on everyone else for a second. Focus on yourself; you who’s reading this right now. How often do you confess? 
Confessing, in reference to an ordinary dictionary, means the admission of misdeeds or faults. It also refers to sin as an enstrangement from God. In simpler words, confessing of your sins means pouring out your heart to God and admitting your wrong doings. It means admitting “God, I have done wrong against you and your word. God, I did this and this and I’m asking you to forgive me.” 
What then hinders people from repenting? My pastor preached once about the two reasons that hinder a person from confession. Firstly, FEAR. Most people, I speak from experience, fear the consequences that will come out of the confession. They fear that a certain fire from heaven can come down and burn them or something like that. I recall one time when I was from praying and repenting to God for something wrong I had done. As I was walking down the stairs of my school, I then slid because the floor was wet. In that moment, I remember saying “Thank you God for making me slide.” I thought that the reason I slid was because God did it intentionally so as to forgive me. But I was wrong. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God is forgiving and merciful. When you ask him to forgive you, he does so. Do your part of forgiving yourself and let go of the guilt. 
Secondly, PRIDE. Some people have pride. They feel as though they have no reason to confess or repent their sins to God. Some do so because they believe one of their family members prays alot so God also forgives them for their sins because he or she believes the prayer of their relative is enough. Others do so because they believe they have no reason to confess their sins. “Everyone on the world sins. They don’t confess. Why should I?”, they think. 
Confession is very essential in everyone’s life because it makes their hearts not draw away from God. Isaiah 59: 2 says “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” This shows us that confession is necessary because it brings us closer to God. Confession sets us free from sin too. So I urge you all to constantly confess as often as you can. 
But that’s not all. Confession is necessary but what you do afer that confession is also very essential. Are you that kind of person who simply confesses and continues that sin evermore or turns away from it? Proverbs 28:13 says “He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whosoever confesses and FORSAKES them shall have mercy.” It doesn’t stop at confessing. This verse encourages us to take a further step and forsake those sins. Don’t go running back to the same sin that put you down and drawed you away from God. You can’t do it all. God knows that. But he’s given you his Holy Spirit to strengthen you. The Bible says thst the Holy Spirit helps us with our weaknesses. Also, you have God’s word which, in Ephesians 6, is the sword you use to fight against the devil. But most importantly, remember, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you” as written in Philippians 4:13. 

THANK YOU. 

As human beings, we mostly say ‘Thank you’ when something good has happened, when someone gives us something or does something that’s pleasing. We also thank God most of the times when he’s done something amazing for us. But how about in the bad times? 

I learnt a couple of weeks ago that ‘True gratitude is thanking God even when our promise is still being prepared.’ Even when that medical report is bad, even when your financial status doesn’t look so promising to keep you going for the next few months, even when God has taken away the man or woman you love dearly, are you still able to say ‘Thank you?

It’s very hard, trust me. When tough times come, we usually stick to the complaining side. ‘Why me? Why now when everything was going great? How will I survive this? ‘ This is seen in Exodus 14 when the Israelites complained to Moses about all that they didn’t have, where by they even started wishing to go back to Egypt(Exodus 14:12). How ironic of them to wish to return to the same place in whch they were terribly tortured. 

That’s how we are sometimes. We choose to dwell more on the complaining side instead of letting God’s will be done instead. God allows us to go through troubled times so that he can teach something for example to deepen our dependency on him, to show his power, to teach us to have fatih, to build in us patient hearts etc. 

So today, choose to thank God, either in the good or bad times. Remember, it’s all happening due to God’s will and purpose. Do it the Kelly Clarkson way. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! In addition, don’t wish to go back to the same thing or person that put you down. A mistake done once is indeed a mistake. But done twice, it’s a choice. 

WHY JUDGE? 

At the end of the day, it’s true. Everyone you meet in life is fighting a battle you know nothing about. I go to her class on that particular day. I’m actually searching for this book she has agreed to lend me for some Economics research I need to do. How I truly despise Economics, I think. I’m supposed to get the book and get out. But as I’m searching for it, I land on this small beautiful journal. I love anything that deals wih journals(except studying of course) and so stubborn of me, I open it. By the time I’m done reading it, I feel nostalgic. 

Most people here, she writes, call her a “heartless whore“. I must admit; it’s true due to the fact that she cheated on her boyfriend with his close friend. When I open the journal, I first see her baby pictures on one of her birthdays at an age of around 3 or 4. To be honest, I feel something move in me when I see the pictures. She looks happy and peaceful. Not that she is usually gloomy or anything. But in these pictures, she looked real. I flip over to the next pages and I fall on her shocking truth. 

First battle: her father. She talks about a certain visiting day at school when her mother came to visit her. She’s even among the top students in her class. Her mother is so happy for her and the rest of the day goes well. About 20 minutes after her mother’s departure, her father arrives with her small sister. As if the smeelof alcohol all around him isn’t enough for her to bare in one day, her father doesn’t appreciate her marks because they aren’t ‘good enough.’

Second battle: her image. I meet her as I head to my room and when she smiles at me, I reca the words heartless whore that everyone knows her as. She writes in her journal of how much pain she feels in her heart and soul whenever people call her so. All she can do is smile and walk away. What else can she do? Defend herself? She can’t because she’s done it so many times. But it hurts because all people see in me are my wrong doings, she writes. I recall a time when she said she wanted to be more like me. Now I understand why she said it. I honestly want to help her. But where do I start from? I believe that all I can do is pray for her. 

Just as I started saying this, so will I end. Everyone you meet is facing a battle you know nothing about. Don’t judge someone or go around calling them names. Because if the same thing would be done to you, you probably wouldn’t be as strong as her and just smile then walk away. Don’t judge someone for their actions. You never know the storm God is enabling them to go through.