Private, Personal, and Public Sin and How to Handle Each One
Years ago we had a pastor who was just a genius in the Lord! I have never seen so much wisdom in anyone as I have in him. He is retired now but His messages still resonate in my mind and God has used them many times to pray for and counsel others. This particular message is one I will never forget. He taught how God expects us to handle sin in our lives. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let us delve right in!
1. Private Sin- Private sin is sexual sin. Many people who have committed this sin feel indescribable guilt! In order to rid themselves of the heaviness of this guilty feeling they feel the need to confess their transgression to their spouse. DO NOT DO THIS!! You have already caused extreme hurt and put yourself into horrific circumstances, why bring the innocent mate into the nightmare with you? You DO need to confess, but confess to God and ask forgiveness and NEVER fall in that area again. The heaviness you feel is conviction and the need to “confess” what you have done is to be made to God and no one else. Let me remind you of 1 John 1:9:
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I love this scripture because it says not only is the confessed sin forgiven, but other wrongs that are in you that you don’t even realize is there is cleansed as well! He starts to make you anew all over again! God is good. You are forgiven…move on and away from it!
2. Personal Sin- Personal sin are the everyday vices of life. It may be resenting someone, white lies, cutting corners at work, etc.. Let me give you an example. If your friend has on a new outfit and you told her how smashing she looked in it when in fact you hated it, you told a white lie. Do not go to that person and say, “You know that outfit you wore Sunday to church? I am so sorry I lied, I actually hate it and you looked terrible in it!!” What have you caused then? Conflict and hurt feelings. Again the confession you make is to GOD and Him alone! Another example is if there is someone you disliked at one time and God has dealt with you and you have made it right with the Lord, don’t go to that person and say, “Hey, there was a time I couldn’t stand to see your face, but I got it right with God and you aren’t so bad after all!” Again, this gives the person a reason to fall out of peace and into bitterness with you and we are to be peace makers not strife instigators! Keep it between you and God!! If you have had a disagreement with someone, then you should go to that person and make it right. You don’t tell the whole world how stubborn and what a jerk they were or the disagreement would not have happened! You keep it between you and the person it occurred with.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Again, we see it is between only two people, not the whole world!
3. Public Sin- This sin is the ONLY sin you confess publicly to. This is when sin is exposed publicly that someone has committed. I will use a true example but not the real name because, for all I know, this minister may have made this right with God and I would be wrong to dredge up his past that has been covered in the blood. There was a “minister” who spoke out against sexual sin. This pastor was literally famous! He was caught with a woman who was not his wife and exposed in the media. He then went on television asking forgiveness from the public as he had supposedly done with God. This was necessary. This man stood for what was right and he did the very thing he told others not to do!! This HAD to be handled publicly because he hurt not only his wife and congregation, but those who he had ministered to weekly all over the world. He had wronged many by turning his back on his convictions and it had to be fixed or others could have been so hurt they could have given up on their own walks with God! This is the ONLY time you admit sin publicly is when you have hurt others publicly with a wrong! There is a scripture that says:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you
may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16 NLT
This is public sin that is being confessed! Something that is already exposed.
I hope this has helped you, dear reader! Wisdom should always be used even when we ask forgiveness for a wrong. Thank you for stopping by and I will see you soon!