A Sin List for Confession

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sin

The following is a list of sins that can be used when walking someone through a confession session. Leading someone in confession is appropriate when that person is seeking forgiveness (general repentance) in order to make the way clear for healing or when an individual is approaching baptism. Burning this list once talked through can be a nice way to close a confession session, laying the past to rest.

REBELLION

Rioting / Treason
Seditions: Stirring up opposition against authority
Murmuring / Grumbling / Complaining
Wickedness: Evil practices, crime
Witchcraft / Sorcery (practicing magic with aid from evil spirits)
Astrology (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3-7; Isaiah 47:13,14; Acts 7:42; Ezekiel 8:16, Deuteronomy 17:7)
Hating God
Speaking Against the Holy Spirit
Disobedience to Parents / Disobedience to God
Divisions: Forming splits or schisms in groups
Divorce / Covenant-Breaking
Having Evil Treasures in the Heart
Having Pleasure in Them That Do Things Worthy of Death: Enjoying the company of sinners
Evil Thoughts: Mentally pursuing worthless, injurious, or depraved thoughts
Unthankfulness
Not Entering by the Door Into the Sheepfold: Seeking salvation through means other than the blood of Christ
False Teaching / Heresy / Teaching the Traditions of Men as Doctrine
Eating the Bread, or Drinking The Lord’s Cup Unworthily
Becoming a Stumbling Block: Causing another to fall spiritually by our example
Swearing: To take oath (as in court)
Speaking Evil of Dignities: Speaking ill of those to be honored
Blasphemy

SLOTH & PASSIVITY

Laziness
Knowing to Do Good, but Refusing to Do It
Hearing the Sayings of Christ, but Not Following Them
Burying Skills, Talents & Resources: Not making wise use of what God gave us

FEAR & TIMIDITY

Discouragement
Anxiety
Unbelief / Faithlessness
Timidity: Afraid of people or circumstances (Psalms 112:7)
Denying Christ: Afraid to confess Jesus to people (John 12:42)

UNFORGIVENESS

Unforgiving Heart
Hard-heartedness (without normal affection)
Unmerciful
Stiff-Necked and Uncircumcised in Hearts and Ears / Obstinate / Stubborn

IDOLATRY & PRIDE

Idolatry: Loving someone or something more than God or Jesus
Lovers of Self
False Humility
Self-Will
Self-Esteem
Puffed Up: Overestimating your ability or knowledge
Desiring the Praise of Men: Doing things to gain praise
High-mindedness / Arrogance / Boasting
Hypocrisy
Fault-Finding
Emulations: Ambition to surpass someone else

LUST & GLUTTONY

Wantonness: Lustful, morally unrestrained
Inordinate Affection: Passion, lust
Reveling: Overindulgence at feasts, merrymaking
Banqueting: A drinking party
Drunkenness
Defiling the Body / Abusers of Self: Self-polluters, having unnatural lusts
Adultery
Fornication / Chambering: Unmarried people living and sleeping together
Homosexuality / Effeminate: Unmanly or womanish man
Rape / Incest / Bestiality
Inventors of Evil Things: Those who contrive evil ways to satisfy their carnal lusts
Whoremongers: Associates with whores

GREED & ENVY

Filthy Lucre: Receiving personal gain through unrighteousness
Trusting in Riches
Laying Up Treasures on Earth: Pursuing material success at the expense of spiritual growth
Living in Pleasure: Fond of luxury and sensual pleasure/gratification
Greediness / Covetousness / Envy / Jealousy
Evil Concupiscence: Longing or desire for forbidden things
Evil Eye: Having selfish motives
Extortion

LYING & STEALING

Whispering / Slander / Giving False Witness
Guile / Deceit / Sneakiness
Double-Tongued / Insincerity
Dishonesty
Defrauding / Unethical
Craftiness / Cunningness
Gossip
Purloining

FOOLISHNESS

Without Understanding / Lacking Wisdom / Presumptuous
Vain Jangling / Babbling / Idle Words: Words of no value
Foolish Talking / Jesting / Teasing: Mean-spirited talking to make others laugh
Corrupt Communications: Unprofitable or impure language
Clamor: Loud, continued noises

ANGER & HATRED

Contempt / Bitterness
Wrath / Rage / Revenge
Strife / Quarreling / Debate / Contention
Seeking Superiority
Ready to Fight / Brawling
Murder / Abortion / Suicide
Implacable: Refusing to be appeased
Despiteful / Maliciousness
Railing / Slander
Mockery / Ridicule
Malignity: Being harmful or dangerous, bad character
Backbiting: Speaking evil of those not present
Fathers Provoking Children to Wrath: Frustrating children through harsh treatment or unreasonableness
Brother Taking Legal Action Against Brother

Finally, renounce any unknown or forgotten sins. Thank your heavenly Father for cancelling the effects and consequences of these sins as they are stricken from the books. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

Are there any sins missing from this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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Matthew Schoenherr
Prior to beginning his Christian ministry, Matthew spent over 25 years as a marketing consultant, published author, speaker, coach, business developer and entrepreneur. In 2015, he pushed out over 400 accounts and retooled his marketing practice to serve the Christian Church. In addition to his pastoral studies and spreading the Gospel message through Levaire.com, Matthew helps Christian churches and humanitarian aid organizations develop successful outreach strategies. He and his vivacious wife, Kelly, live in Michigan with their four amazing children.

22 COMMENTS

    • Yes, absolutely. But He didn’t give them permission to stay whores. He called them to be daughters, as they were originally intended to be. “Go and sin no more.”

  1. Why is being homosexual a sin? I can’t find anywhere in the Bible that says it’s wrong, let alone the fact that our pope support gay marriage. Also I know of a few different stories of gay preists. God made us all in his image and never said that being gay is wrong. So why is that on a list? Because society says that it is? Please explain it to me because I don’t understand.

    • Faith, because the Bible says it is, along with adultery, incest and a myriad of other sins. From the NIV:

      Genesis 19:1–13
      Details the attack on Lot and the angels in Sodom. Per verses 4-5: 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

      Leviticus 18:22
      Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

      Leviticus 20:13
      If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

      Romans 1:26–27
      Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

      1 Corinthians 6:9
      Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men

      1 Timothy 1:10
      for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine

    • Being homosexiual is not a sin. The act of sleeping with the same sex for pleasure is the sin. The lust full thoughts are a sin. Simply having an attraction is not a sin but the sexual acts that people fall into is the sin.

      • Aarom, you are correct. Experiencing homosexual or heterosexual temptation is not the sin, but the ruminating and acting on it is when it becomes sin. Thanks for writing. M

  2. Mathew,
    I don’t believe everything I read. I love and respect my gay friends and am happy for them. Let he who has never sinned, be the first to cast a stone.

  3. Does the Catholic Church teach that one sin is worse than the other explain venial and ? Sin
    I was taught all sin is a separation from God and he looks at all separation equally for those who commit any sin unless we believe in Jesus Christ who died once for sin and once for all who sin

    • Phyllis, thanks for writing! I found a great article that answers your question at Crossway.org (https://www.crossway.org/articles/are-some-sins-worse-than-others/). In regards to venial vs mortal sin, the last paragraph reads:

      “The Bible does not affirm the Roman Catholic ideas of mortal and venial sins—or the sacramental, penitential context in which they are understood. All sins establish legal guilt, and without faith in Christ sinners are worthy of eternal separation from God. The two categories of mortal and venial sins operate within a faulty view of salvation, in which justification is viewed as a process during which a person can commit certain sins that remove him from a relationship with God, while other sins do not sever that fellowship. The biblical view is that at the moment of saving faith, the Christian is declared righteous because of the imputed righteousness of Christ (Rom. 4:3–5). All sins are forgiven so that nothing can separate the Christian from fellowship with God (Rom. 8:1, 38–39). Furthermore, the Roman Catholic idea of meritorious penance as necessary for the removal of a mortal sin is an error that strikes at the sufficiency of Jesus’s atoning sacrifice for sin. Rather than looking to his own acts of penance, the Christian looks to Christ’s sacrifice as the full payment for all his sin (Heb. 10:10–18).”

      I would say then that your understanding is correct.
      Matthew

      • Please go through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and read all that was written about venial and mortal sins. And why a sin is said to be mortal.
        Please don’t confuse people

  4. Is it wrong for a single woman to have a high desire for her parish priest? For example – I think about him every day and night how we could get married and have kids! Is that a sin?
    Can Clergy ordinate a priest to get married?

    • Sarah, thanks for writing. As far as whether your priest can marry, it depends on the denomination. The more orthodox sects may not allow it, but many modern denominations do. You’ll need to do a little research and ask around to settle this one for yourself.

      However, your bigger question is about your trend into fantasies surrounding your priest. Yeeeah, if you’re not currently in a romantic relationship with your pastor and moving toward the covenant of marriage, I would caution you to look closely at those fantasies; they may be misplaced? James 1:14-15 teaches “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This might not always go as far as physical death, but it could be the death of relationship, reputation, career, health, etc.

      I also want to point out fixations on spiritual or emotional authority figures in our lives can happen. In the psychology world, this is known as transference. In most cases, it’s the client fixating on the therapist, but it can flow from therapist to client as well. Transference can happen between clients and therapists, between students and teachers (if it happens in high school, it tends to make the news), and, of course, between parishioners and their pastors. When it occurs, transference can grow out of feelings of gratitude which can then be perceived as love. Someone may be experiencing unmet relational needs and may idealize that other person as the solution to those needs. A person in authority may remind you of a past romantic relationship. Finally, due to its inherent boundaries, the nature of the professional relationship may offer a space where intimate thoughts can be shared in a comfortable and safe environment and so the desire to go deeper or “fall in love” develops.

      Of course, I’m not saying you’re experiencing transference, Sarah, but I do want you to be aware it can happen.

      Knowing nothing about your relationship with your priest, I would encourage you to hold these desires before God. Ask Holy Spirit to burn them off you if they are not in alignment with God’s plan for you. Paul says we are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). If you desire a mate, it may be that God is preparing someone else for you; be open to that possibility and hold it before the Lord. We want the spouse our Lord selects for us, as He knows us way more than we know ourselves. Certainly your priest could be included in that vision, but there’s also a good chance he may not be.

      So, I guess my best answer at this point is to encourage you to earnestly fast, pray and take the matter before the Lord. Be willing to let go if He convicts you.

      May God bless you and guide you, sister.
      Matthew

  5. I’m not sure if it’s in the list but lack of faith in whatever, because in Bible says whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

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