Cover 2016-09-04

CONFESSING SIN

I heard a story about a husband who came home drunk late one night and snuck up the stairs quietly to avoid waking his wife. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he'd received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he'd pulled one over on his wife.

When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. "You were drunk last night, weren't you!"

"No, dear." "Well, if you weren't, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?"

Despite our many failed attempts, we continue to try to hide our sins from others around us. King Saul was commanded by God to kill all of the Amalekites and their animals (I Sam. 15:3). But Saul spared the Amalekite king and the best of the herds and flocks. There was no question he had disobeyed God. But notice the first thing he said to Samuel upon his return -- "I have performed the commandment of the LORD." (I Sam. 15:13).

Saul knew good and well he hadn't done everything that God told him to do. So why did he tell Samuel he had kept the word of the Lord? Because one of our first reactions to sin is to pretend that everything's OK. If we ignore the fact that we have sinned, maybe no one will notice.

And we've all done this before, haven't we? Remember when you were a kid and your parents were out of the house and maybe you got to roughhousing with your brothers and sisters and in the process the lamp in the living room got knocked over and a piece broke off? You stuck it back together hoping no one would ever notice and then you went back to your room to get away from the scene of the crime.

But Mom comes home and it doesn't take her very long to notice. She comes back to your room and says, "Did you break my lamp?" And you say, as innocently as you possibly can, "What lamp?" Because the hardest thing in the world is to admit that we have done something wrong.

The one thing that God desires most when it comes to our sins is the one thing we have the most trouble with -- honesty and openness. "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13)

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9).

May you be honest enough to be able to share with God what He already knows. Only then can the healing begin.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith, Cruciform Church of Christ. Spring Lake, North Carolina

http://www.cruciformcoc.com