He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. (Proverbs 28:13—NASV)

Did you ever have someone ask you to forgive them but your heart told you something was wrong? How can you know without a doubt that the person is sincere? Better yet, can God accuse you of the same behavior?

This verse gives some real horse sense about the sincerity of a confession. If there is a shadow of cover-up and a lack of willingness to spell out what is being confessed, then you are right to question the truth of the appeal. God does the same thing.

But, the one who plainly states the offensive act in clear terms and then fully forsakes the right to practice the same offense is worthy of mercy. A Bible term defined by this level of sincere apology is the word “repent”. Simply put, repentance is a 180 degree turn around, a real change of behavior. God will accept nothing less. The repentant one will not rest until the offense is made right.

On a scale of 1 to 3, are you a sincere apologizer? Usually, someone who cannot be honest with people cannot be honest before God.