Which are these? Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments: Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker? Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy? Have you been hot-tempered, rude, or quarrelsome? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm? (Confession and the Office of the Keys)
Which (sins) are these? Namely the ones that we should confess. Prior to this the Catechism tells us that we should confess those sins that trouble our hearts. Now we are to consider our life according to the 10 Commandments.
We are directed to consider our vocation and how we have served our neighbor, or perhaps have not. Have you directed your neighbor to the Gospel? Have you dealt with your neighbor in forgiveness and love or in hate and contempt? Have you obeyed those whom the Lord God has put over you to take care of you? Have you sinned against them thinking we knew better and were capable of living without them? Have you failed your neighbor, left them short of the Gospel or ignored them when they were in need of help? Have you said something to your neighbor that hurt his feelings, or said something which tainted his character and belittled him before others? Have you wanted something that was not yours, or even sought to get it from your neighbor in dishonesty?
All these things we can unanimously answer “yes”, and there's still more. We break each and every commandment from both tables, and we do it a hundred times over. What’s worse is that we continue to do it with little remorse or desire to stop.
We are not left with these sins though; this is not where we end. Confession has two parts: first that we would confess our sins and second that we would receive absolution. Receive freely from your pastor as if He were the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. There the story ends, at Golgotha, which is from where your pastor speaks absolution. He says, “I forgive you, all these things and more!”
We should confess our sins as we have learned from the 10 Commandments. We should confess, that we might receive blessed forgiveness from our Lord and Savior. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Lord, on You I cast my burden—Sink it in the deepest sea! Let me know Your gracious pardon, Cleanse me from iniquity. Let Your Spirit leave me never; Make me only Yours forever. (LSB 608:4)