Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When Sin is Hard to Name

In the washroom of his London club, British newspaper publisher and politician William Beverbrook happened to meet Edward Heath, then a young Member of Parliament. Beverbrook had printed an insulting editorial about Heath a few days earlier. "My dear chap," said the publisher, embarrassed by the encounter. "I've been thinking it over, and I was wrong to print that comment. Here and now, I wish to apologize." "Very well," grunted Heath. "But the next time, I wish you'd insult me in the bathroom and apologize in apologize in your

And so we hide behind the activities that we don’t want anyone to one about. We don’t want anyone to see our weakness or vulnerability. And we keep our sins to ourselves, and often times we should, and they can, eat away at us and often times they should. If not, how would we come to know these behaviors with which we should cease to be engaged? But we can also become obsessed with the hurts and the wrongs that we have committed. It can lead us into thinking that we do not deserve the love of others or the love of God or God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ and it can become a hang-up and it can lead us to ruin.

The Apostle John said: If we confess our sins, Jesus who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Sin comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition and try desperately to fulfill it without God. Not only is it sin, it is a perverse distortion of the image of the Creator in us. All these good things, and all our security, are rightly found only and completely in him.  (Augustine, The Confessions of Saint Augustine)

Today, this very day, every day, when the Holy Spirits convicts you, and you recognize your sin, it is a time to know the grace of God and the forgiveness that comes in Jesus Christ. It is the day to realize that your sin has been taken by grace to Christ and you are freed from sin. It is the day that you can start anew and fresh.

But we must strive to stay cleansed by the Holy Spirit and the grace of God. Though we will often fail, we must strive to be free from sin. And if we willfully give into it, it can become a hang-up and we can allow it to control our thoughts and our actions.

Indeed, we all sin. In order to be truly sorry for them we need to confess them to God and sometimes even to others, or how can we clearly and decisively reject in the future the sin we have just committed.

Having the resolution to avoid committing your names sins in the future is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic. A resolution to God to try to avoid the near occasions of sin leads to spiritual growth. And God's grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to resist and overcome temptation in the future.

God’s love is not a magic potion that can protect us from all the ailments of the world.  But let me tell you what it can do.  The love of God cleanses you so you are not bound to the sin you are committing.
The Apostle John said, if we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Now, I don’t know that the indiscriminate, blanket confessions of sin to anyone and everyone are so good for the soul.  Not everyone is mature enough to receive our confession. When you confess a sin to a person they may not forgive you. But when you confess God you will be forgiven through Christ Jesus our Lord. You will receive forgiveness in Jesus Christ, and maybe then you can forgive yourself and cease your behavior.
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