Do you know you've done something wrong and that's why life isn't the same anymore? The sacrament of Penance is the secret to making peace with God and redeeming yourself from sins. Read on to learn how to restore peace in your life.
Part 1 of 3: Accepting sin
Step 1. Be humble
You can lie to others and even to yourself, but never to God. If you really want to do penance, you have to be humble and admit that you haven't always done the right things. Humble yourself before God and know that He is always right.
Step 2. Feel God in your heart and trust Him
You have to believe that He can forgive you and help you live a better life. Otherwise, you will lose the motivation to correct your mistakes. It is very difficult to change negative habits and correct what was done wrong. But believe that God is with you.
Step 3. Think about the sins you have committed
Don't limit yourself to big things, because all sins are equal in God's eyes. Making a list can help. However, there is no need to be in a hurry; be calm and think hard.
Step 4. Before doing penance, it is important to think:
"Why is this wrong?" Following God's words without questioning them just shows that you don't understand the problem. Think about the people you hurt and how you're feeling right now. Think of all the bad things that guilt caused you to do. This is critical!
Step 5. When doing penance, it is necessary to do it for the right reasons
It is not right to ask for forgiveness just so that God will grant you some wish. Penance is good for the soul and will make your life more productive. Don't do penance just to have worldly things. God is not for that!
Step 6. The penitent should start by reading the sacred text of his religion (Bible, Koran etc)
Read specific passages on the subject, but don't limit yourself to that. God needs to get into your heart and guide you. We sin because we got lost. Therefore, it is necessary to find God's way again.
- The Bible has many passages on repentance, including Matthew 4:17 and Acts 2:38 and 3:19.
- A passage from the Qur'an dealing with the subject is At-Tahriim 66:8.
- Jews can find texts on penance in Hosea 14:2-5, Proverbs 28:13 and Levi 5:5.
Part 2 of 3: Fixing things
Step 1. Your spiritual advisor (priest, rabbi, pastor, etc.) will help you to confession
Remember: his job is to help you on the divine journey! He understands you're not perfect and won't judge you. Even if you don't actively participate in the congregation, you still need to ask for advice.
However, it is not necessary to go to church to do penance. God will listen to you wherever you are
Step 2. When truly repenting, the most important thing is to change your behavior
You have to stop committing the same sins. This is complicated, of course, but you can do it! It will take time, and you will make other mistakes, but if you really want to do penance, insist.
Step 3. Changing alone can be tricky
If you need more than God's love, that's fine! Admitting that you need help is a sign of humility. Join a support group, talk to a spiritual counselor, join a congregation, or see doctors. This will not displease God! He gave these people the gift for a reason.
Step 4. Another essential part of repentance is fixing what you've done wrong
Just asking for forgiveness and moving on is not penance. If you stole something, tell the person and pay or return it. If you lied to someone, tell the truth. If you cheated on the test, talk to the teacher and accept the consequences. Do your best to help those who have been harmed by you. This will please God.
Step 5. Learn from sins so as not to commit them again
That's what mistakes are for. For example, if you cheated on one test but really regretted it, don't do that on others.
Step 6. Another tip is to help other people not make the same mistakes as you
For this, give testimonies in church, for example.
Part 3 of 3: Accepting Forgiveness
Step 1. After you truly repent, do your best to live a life pleasing to God
Every religion has things to say about it, so read the corresponding sacred text. If God is in your heart, He will guide you on the right path.
Step 2. One thing that will surely please God is to start actively participating in the religious community
For example, get baptized, go to church, tithe, and talk to people about God's way. Help and love others.
Step 3. Going forward, you must protect your own soul
Make confessions regularly and deal with sins as quickly as possible. Pay attention to temptations and stay away from bad company. Keep reading the sacred text and let yourself be guided by God.
Step 4. Nobody is perfect, and you will make other mistakes
God knows that! You have to be humble and accept that. However, don't lose sleep worrying about what will and won't please God. The important thing is to try.
Step 5. Sins are mistakes that cause us to hurt others and ourselves
When we live a sinless life, not only do we please God and preserve our souls, we are also happier. That's why it's important to deal with mistakes. If you are doing something that makes you unhappy or hurts others, stop! Having this comfort of forgiveness, you will live much better.
- Forgive yourself. Only God can judge you. It's no use asking for forgiveness and continuing to blame yourself.
- Forgiveness is unlimited! God will always love you. Nothing will change that.
- If any circumstances influenced you to commit sin, change the environment around you.
- Because of our sins, Jesus suffered on the cross. As Isaiah 53:5 says, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed." He's ready to forgive, just be really sorry.
- You are the only one who can change yourself. Family and friends may want you to change, but it has to come from you.
- Believe in changing things. If you are a drug addict, for example, get help and have the faith that everything will change.
- Catholics: Pray to the Virgin Mary. Jesus always listens to her.