“If we claim, “We don’t have any sin,” we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. If we claim, “We have never sinned,” we make him a liar and his word is not in us.”
– 1 John 1:8-10
As believers we intellectually adhere to the fact that all people are sinners. That is part of our story. We talk and sing about how thankful we are to be forgiven, especially on days like today. However, I find myself struggling to move from the generic, “I am a sinner” to a more specific “Father please forgive me for…” See I am ok with the idea of being a sinner as long as I don’t face up to the reality of the depth of my sin. As long as “I’m a sinner, you’re a sinner, but we’re all ok with Jesus” then I can be pretty comfortable with the concept that I need forgiveness.
But when it comes to actually naming my sin and asking God to forgive me – that is a different story. I’m not really all that bad, am I? I don’t think I do anything really wrong on a daily basis. And if I do make a mistake, I didn’t mean to. So that doesn’t make me a bad person does it?
Here is where the rubber meets the road friends. As long as we justify our way out of admitting our sin, we are lying to ourselves and to God. As believers, we say we want a relationship with Jesus. But we can’t have a deep and enriching relationship until we are honest. Until we can admit that we need a savior, then there is no room for Jesus in our lives. We are just playing church.
But beyond that, until we come to terms with our own brokeness – there is no healing, no grace, no peace, no blessing. Because if we are all ok, we don’t need those things do we?
Jesus came that we all might have life and have it abundantly. The only thing standing in our way is our own pride. I invite you to experience the joy and freedom of living a fully forgiven life in Christ. It isn’t easy to take that first step of confession and repentance, but believe me: it is so much better on the other side. His love for us transcends anything that we can do wrong. In Him there is no guilt, no shame, or condemnation – only forgiveness and second chances. In His presence there is peace, because He accepts us as we are.
Today is the day that we gather as a family to confess, repent and be renewed in Christ. I hope you will join us at 6:00 p.m. for our Ash Wednesday service. It is a brand new chance for me to get right with my Savior and receive this wonderful gift that He is offering. I don’t know about all of you, but after the year I have had – I surely am looking forward to it.
Peace brothers and sisters.
Blessed be the One that comes in the name of the Lord. My Savior comes to take away the sins of the world, including mine. Lord, I try my best every day to do good. So I probably don’t even know all the things I have done that have disappointed You. So please search my heart, point out anything that offends You, and make me aware of it. Help me to do better. You are my only hope, and I am putting my trust in You.
The opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the Liberty Crossings UMC staff or leadership.