Question

I'm a girl who's 16. I've been talking to guys on an app. This one guy was being very sexual when he was talking to me, and I kept talking to him. I honestly don't know what state of mind I was in at the time. I kept talking to him and he sent an inappropriate picture (no not naked). My sister went through my phone and read the messages, and she was angry.

I feel very guilty and sorry for what I did, but I just don't know what to do at this point. I feel guilty for what I did and also for keeping this from my parents. I need guidance from the Lord. I prayed about it, but I just need reassurance on what to do. I want to go to confession, but I don't know what exactly to say.


Answer

Confession is a Roman Catholic idea. I am going to focus, instead, on the biblical issues.

First, feelings don't define right and wrong, so we need to talk about what exactly you did wrong. "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them" (Ephesians 5:3-7). A Christian opposes sex outside of marriage because God stated it is wrong (and for very good reasons). If we understand something is wrong, then it is also wrong to leave an impression that we approve of sin. That means we don't talk about having sex when we are not married or to try sexually arousing another person. You got involved in filthy talk or dirty talk. You gave this man the impression that you approve of fornication and he was actively trying to encourage you to be aroused by him.

It is appropriate, when you understand that you sinned, to be embarrassed by it and feel guilty about it. But if that is all that happens, then you really haven't changed. If you understand that you did wrong, then you need to make changes in yourself. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). Erase the conversations. Delete the app. Get rid of all contact information with this guy. If necessary, put a block against his phone number. Real change doesn't come by only going part way.

Finally, you need to talk to God about your sins. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). It helps, too, to talk with other people about how to deal with temptation, so a talk with your mother or some other older woman would be helpful. "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).

Thank you so much. The first thing I did to change myself after I felt guilty was delete the app. I had only talked to the guy for a couple of hours. I'm in no contact with him anymore or anything like that. I don't do that stuff anymore with guys online because I understand what I did wrong.