Reformed theologian John Piper has said that the “one kind of sin” believers must “take care of right away” is the sin that hurts others.
Responding to a question about how to make time to confess sin amid the busyness of life, Piper, the founder of DesiringGod.org and former lead pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, explained that Christians should immediately interrupt their busy schedules to repent of sins that hurt other people.
“If we discern that the words we have spoken or what we’ve done has wounded somebody or caused them to sin, I think Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:23–24 about leaving our gift at the altar and hastening toward reconciliation really does apply in principle here,” he said. “If they’re hurt, then let’s just stop what we’re doing, apologize, and seek to make it right.”
The pastor contended that repentance doesn’t need to be long-winded; God would “gladly receive from us a two- or three-second whispered, ‘Oh Lord, I’m so sorry. Please help me. Please forgive me.'”
“We must remember that there is no merit assigned in the Bible to any particular length of confession or repentance or remorse for sin,” he offered. “In fact, when Jesus teaches the Lord’s prayer and how to apologize to God for sin, it’s pretty brief: ‘Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors’ (Matthew 6:12). Pray like that.”
“Watch out for getting into a mindset of negotiation with God in which length of time in repentance and remorse secures your acceptance,” he cautioned. “It’s the other way around. It’s the acceptance through Christ that leads us to repentance, not vice versa.”
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Source: Christian Post