Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Proverbs 28:13 Just admit it!

When I was growing up, I would have been considered one of the “good” girls. I pretty much did as I was told, and behaved in the classroom and at home. I was a leader at school and had a good reputation. Yet, I occasionally did things with my friends that were downright wrong. And my parents never found out about most of them. By the time I was in college, I had collected a bunch of unconfessed sin! And it gnawed at me inside! How freeing it was to receive Christ, finally, and to be able to deal with all that sin - to realize that He had already knew all about it and had paid that debt for me! I was overwhelmed by His grace!

Our verse in Proverbs this morning talks about the idea of unconfessed sin weighing us down: 

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,

    but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

The Bible makes it very clear that we are all sinners in need of mercy and grace. Yet, the world hates the word “sin.” Many religions do not acknowledge that there is such a thing. John, in his first letter, says that when we take that stance, we are lying, and worse, we make Jesus a liar, because we deny what He has done for us:

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (I John 1:8-10)

It’s so irritating when I know a student has done something wrong, but he won’t ‘fess up! I always manage to get the truth out of students, but it takes up so much wasted time as they insist on making excuses or deflecting the blame with, “But they were doing it, too!” I heard a commentator on a news program complaining about the current culture in Washington in which no one fully owns the blame for misdeeds, but will begrudgingly admit “meaningless responsibility.” The ones who should be held accountable will say something like, “Well, of course the buck stops here, but it was not my fault.” I have always called those kinds of excuses “sorry buts.” “I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t have done it if...” 

Why is it we are so unwilling to call a sin a sin and repent of it? Is it because we have a wrong image of our Father? Do we think He’s waiting to pounce on us and extract the last measure of punishment? The reality is that He is just waiting to pour out His mercy and grace on us. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness! 

The truth will set you free - and when it comes to confessing sin - it frees you indeed! Confessed sin brings the problem to the Light - where the darkness is completely dispelled. Unconfessed sin keeps us in bondage and in darkness, because we want to keep it hidden - away from the light. Satan loves to hold these secrets over our heads - He whispers, “If they really knew about you - what you are really like - they would cast you out!”

King David, who knew a lot about sin, knew he could confess to his Father, because he understood the LORD’s heart:

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

    and all that is within me,

    bless his holy name! 
Bless the Lord, O my soul,

    and forget not all his benefits, 
who forgives all your iniquity,

    who heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit,

    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,... 
The Lord is merciful and gracious,

    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 
He will not always chide,

    nor will he keep his anger forever.  
He does not deal with us according to our sins,

    nor repay us according to our iniquities. 
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 
 as far as the east is from the west,

    so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:1-4, 8-12)

Whatever burden of guilt you may carry, whether something that currently ensnares you, or a boatload of guilt you have carried around for years, lay it at His feet! He knows all about it anyway! So let it go and receive the mercy of the LORD!  

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