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How do I help my children to maintain a clear account?
Here are four basic steps to achieve a clear conscience.
1. Listen and observe their life carefully to help them to identify those whom they have offended.
a) Use the mirror of the Word. James 1:23-25
b) Look into the mirror of memory. Psalm 139:23-24
c) Look into the mirror of attitudes. Matthew 7:1-5
2. Be sure they learn which offenses need to be dealt with first.
(If not, you'll take the proper weight of guilt and place it on a less significant offense)
3. Guide them to choose the right wording.
a) Their words must identify the basic offense.
b) Their words must reflect full repentance and sincere humility.
c) Wrong wording: I was wrong but you were too! If I've been wrong! I'm sorry.
d) Right wording: God has convicted me of how wrong I've been in _____.
Will you please forgive me?
4. Teach them to determine the proper time and method to ask forgiveness.
a) Best method is by phone or a personal visit NOT a letter.
b) Is this a convenient time for the other person?
c) Is it a time when there will be no interruptions?
d) Is the person in the proper mood to grant forgiveness?
Finally, help them to memorize and meditate on the key passages that underscore the permanence of God's forgiveness.