Why live with arguments, fights, hostility, anger, and bitterness when you can live at peace? Confession of your own sins is a huge part to living at peace with others. Unfortunately, many of us have formed unhelpful, blame-shifting habits when we try to confess.

This is why Ken Sande’s book The Peacemaker is so practical. It covers every aspect of making peace with someone else. One of the most helpful parts of the book is chapter 6, titled “Confession Brings Freedom.”

In pages 126-134, he lists seven practical tips for a genuine confession that each begin with an A.

  1. Address everyone involved – “As a general rule, you should confess your sins to every person who has been directly affected by your wrong-doing.”
  2. Avoid if, but, and maybe – “The best way to ruin a confession is to use words that shift the blame to others or that appear to minimize or excuse your guilt.”
  3. Admit specifically – “The more detailed and specific you are when making a confession, the more likely you are to receive a positive response.”
  4. Acknowledge the hurt – “Make it a point to acknowledge and express sorrow for how you have hurt or affected them.”
  5. Accept the consequences – “Explicitly accepting the consequences … demonstrate(s) genuine repentance.”
  6. Alter your behavior – “Explain … how you plan to alter your behavior in the future.”
  7. Ask for forgiveness (Allow time) –”Some people can forgive quickly, while others need some time to work through their feelings.”

Use this list when you need to confess. Do not use this as a checklist, but as a tool to help you confess from a genuine heart.

“As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18