I am 17 year old male going through so much and wondering if I need restitution. When I was younger I did a lot of sexual touching and other actions many times with my younger female cousin. I know I’ve hurt her & I also hurt myself. I have confessed my sin to God, asking him for forgiveness. But I hear two voices in my head. One is telling me tell my whole family what I did and then I will have a clean conscious. The other one is telling me that God already forgave me and it’s past, forgotten, erased and washed away. I don’t know which one I should trust or if I need to make restitution. It’s driving me crazy with these feelings of guilt. I don’t know exactly what God wants me to do.
Also when I was a lot smaller God brought it up to me when I made my brother touch or kiss a body part that shouldn’t be touched. I really need guidance and help please. What should I do? Should I just let it all go or try to make restitution?
I’m also wrestling with homosexuality and I feel these two sins right here are keeping me from being free.
I apologize for the delay in getting this answered. To be honest I really had to pray about this to be sure my initial reaction wasn’t really a reaction — and was instead the leading of the Holy Spirit.
You didn’t say where you live, or how old you were when you committed these acts against your cousin and brother. The laws of various states and countries may vary – and of course they will dictate the consequences that you may have to face. However, the moral answer is not dependent on the consequences. In fact, each of us as Christ followers is called to do the right thing without regard to what the potential consequences might be.
I am assuming that the so-called “voices” in your head are just conflicting thoughts, and that you are not suffering from a mental illness where you are actually hearing voices. (If you are, that would be another matter entirely.) But given your dilemma, I can certainly appreciate that you are feeling conflicted and find the whole matter quite troubling.
You must do whatever you can to make things right. I don’t believe there is any need to tell your entire family. However, you should go to your cousin and brother with a sincere apology and ask them each to forgive you. You should then consult with a local attorney. They could advise you as to whether the laws where you live would define what you did as a crime, as well as to whether or not you might face a legal punishment (and if so how to proceed to turn yourself in).
I have taught often on how we go about honoring God with our sin. This is definitely a situation where you have an opportunity to honor God with your sin. You’ll have to set aside your fear of shame, rejection, and even punishment, being willing to trust God with the outcome. Every single book of the Bible tells us to have no fear. Such counsel is for you, Hiram. You are to have no fear. And if there is a legal punishment then you must be willing to accept it, trusting God to give you the strength to get through it.
As for struggling with homosexuality, from what you’ve told me you have had enough life experiences to cause serious confusion about your sexuality. Please try to differentiate between those things that tempt you here on earth and He who defined you on the cross. Seriously, God knows how you’re feeling. Ask Him to quiet those temptations within you and show you His truth about your sexuality. And then wait for Him to do so.
Brother, you are dearly loved and prayed over. Please keep us posted so that we can stand with you in prayer as you go about making this right.