A Lost Art

by Marilyn Ehle

“If we confess our sins…”  1 John 1:9

Cameras recorded the public official’s unwise and potentially dangerous behavior. Although initially denying the gravity of the situation, his eventual public statement included these words, “I sincerely apologize for allowing myself to be placed in that situation where there’s a perception of wrongdoing”.

We might at first dismiss and decry such words as cautious “politikspeak”,  but they reveal a practice we often adopt in our own approach to confession—to both God and our fellow travelers. Frequently we couch our apologies in protective words like “I was stressed…or tired…or hungry”. “I was just doing what everyone else does”. “I never learned how to do it right”.  Or—even more wounding—“You did (that) so I did (this)“.

How strikingly different was David’s response when faced with his heinous wrongdoing. “I have sinned against the Lord…I acknowledged my sin…I will confess my sin”.

To confess sin means “to agree with God”, about it, to have His view toward it. With that kind of honest confession and determination to turn from the sin comes the incredible flood of forgiveness: “…He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.

Father, forgive my tendency toward self-justification instead of honest confession. Help me learn to understand the difference between “God is love, BUT God hates sin”, and “God is love, SO God hates sin”!

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2010/03/15/me_lost-art/

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