"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9 (NIV)
I have a talent for embarrassing myself. A few years ago, at one of our Proverbs 31 Ministries' Conferences, I was alone in the elevator on my way to a meeting, when I noticed that my panty hose were sagging. I had been running non-stop since the conference began, so naturally I needed to freshen up. I figured since I was the only one in the elevator, it was safe to lift up my skirt, bend over, and pull up my hose. I'm sure you have done something similar.
There was only one problem. When I entered the elevator at the bottom floor, it had a back wall. As I rode the elevator from one floor to the next, I noticed something had changed. The back wall had magically transformed into a glass wall! Ingeniously, the hotel was built in a circle with a large floor-to-roof atrium. This design meant that all of the glass elevators overlooked the center of the hotel as they moved up and down. What was in the center of the atrium with the translucent elevators? The hotel restaurant. What time of day was it? You guessed it - dinnertime. The room was packed with people unaware that they were getting both dinner and a show!
I was horrified! Aren't we all when a side of us is exposed that we would rather keep covered? I think sin is like that. We try to hide it, but at some point it reveals itself, leaving us embarrassed, sorrowful, and ashamed. Not all sins are exposed; there are some that we manage to keep concealed. In doing so, it gives us the false illusion that no one can see them. While others may not, we forget that God can see all. And He doesn't need a glass wall to see what is hidden.
What does our sin do to the heart of God? The Bible says that our sin grieves the Holy Spirit within us (Ephesians 4:30, paraphrased). I don't know about you, but knowing that I can break the heart of God does something to my own heart. Not only am I ashamed, but a deep sense of separation from God comes over me. The good news is God doesn't keep a record of our sin. What He keeps a record of is when we believe Him.
The Apostle Paul tells us, "Consider Abraham: 'He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness'" (Galatians 3:6, NIV).Therefore, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). That's a promise. There is no need to hide our sin or defend our wrong actions when we can simply have God's forgiveness.
In the historical event found in Matthew chapter 26, Jesus sat down with His twelve disciples to prepare for the Passover. During this time, Jesus reveled to His followers something only He could see. "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me." (Matthew 26:21, NIV). I love the disciples' reaction. They didn't become defensive at Christ's words.
When I know that one of my three children have disobeyed in some way, but I don't know who, I say to them, "One of you has broken a rule." They usually respond by blaming one another or defending themselves. The disciples did not. They didn't try to play cover up or debate the matter. They didn't even point fingers at one another. Instead, each one examined themselves. Even Judas asked Jesus, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you." (Matthew 26:25, NIV).
Once Judas' eyes were open to his sin, he had a choice to make. He could either fess up and be done with it or he could carry out his betrayal. He chose the latter. That choice determined his tragic destiny. Yet, Judas' fate didn't have to end that way. If Judas had responded to his conviction before he betrayed Christ with repentance, someone else would have had to fill his role in history. Why? Because Christ our Lord was sent to free us from sin and restore us back into fellowship with God.
You and I need to understand that Jesus doesn't expose our sin to embarrass us or condemn us. God didn't send Christ into the world to condemn but to save. When you and I sin, God is simply waiting for us to look inward and say, "Lord, it is I?" In the instant we confess with faith, Christ is ready and willing to make all things new.
Dear Lord, I confess to you my sin of _________. I'm sorry that my sin breaks Your heart. Cleans me and restore my relationship with You. Fill me once more with Your peace and presence, In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:Do You Know Him?
Confessions of a Good Christian Girl: The Secrets Women Keep and the Grace that Saves Them
by Tammy MaltbyAn Untroubled Heart
by Micca Campbell
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When you know that you have sinned against God, confess it immediately. Don't wait.Reflections:
Do you often try to hide your sin or are you quick to confess it?
How are you betraying yourself by not confessing your sin?
Romans 10:9, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (NIV)
Ephesians 1:7, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sin, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." (NIV)
© 2009 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.