Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I repented of and confessed a sin I had committed with someone who, I am not sure, whether they have done likewise. I have apologized to the person; but I know that it is a sin that they continue to struggle with. Am I going to be punished and judged for this? Is it my responsibility to help the person overcome that sin? What do I do so that I don't lose my chance in heaven?

The Holy Bible assures us that our sins are forgiven forever onlywhen we repent and confess them. Do not lose faith in this promptly fulfilled promise. We confidently pray in the holy Psalmody, "For You have chosen the publican, and the adulteress You have saved, and the right-hand thief,my Lord You have remembered. Andme too, the sinner, teach me O my Master, to offer repentance."

The greatest sin is the one not repented of. You are very gracious to worry about your friend, who, you admit, became entangled in a sin due to your companionship. But your first and foremost concern must be your own salvation and eternal life. It is not only the obvious and most repulsive sins that will alienate us from God."Small sins create a true stagnation in the spiritual life of man. Just as the wall clock stops because of the accumulation of fine dust, so the spiritual pulse of man dies out under the thick layer of accumulated small sins. In order for the clock to start running again, the dust must be blown out. In order for man to restore his spiritual life, he needs to confess even the smallest of his sins"(The Forgotten Medicine, 1994).

Continue to pray for yourself andothers whom you  come to know. Replace the negative feelings of guilt with faith and hopein God'slove and generous mercies which pulled you out of this snare. For, by choosing to live a life of repentance, not only of this sin, but all your sins, you will be a light to others. Asthistransgression may have led others to indiscretions, maythe honesty of yourrepentance bea thousand times more compelling. For by repentance, the light of the Holy Spirit within you will be revealed. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

Please read the beautifuland inspiring story of a great model of repentance, St. Mary of Egypt,
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