Thursday, December 4, 2008

An Extra Little Note

Confession: A Soul Essential
by Delia Latham

1 John 1:8-10 (KJV) 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

A familiar old saying tells us "confession is good for the soul." And it is. It is, in fact, essential to the soul.

True repentance comes only through total humbling of self. The truth is, nothing – nothing – is more humbling than verbal confession of wrongdoing. That’s why the Bible so strongly encourages this action, and why many people are adamantly unwilling to do it.

The wonderful thing is that once our sins are laid out there in all their ugliness and shame, God can wash them away. He can't do that while we keep them locked up inside our consciences, attempting to hide them from Him and the rest of the world.

Ever seen a child with a favorite article of clothing ... the one he wants to wear every single day, every hour of the day? Without laundering, that piece of clothing is obviously going to become more and more unappealing ... dirty, stinky and just downright disgusting. Unfortunately, it cannot be laundered until the child takes it off and hands it to his mother to put in the wash. Now Mom can wash away all the filth, launder out the stench, iron away the wrinkles – and transform that unlovely rag into an attractive garment again.

It's a matter of relinquishing something ... entrusting it into the hands of a Higher Power. Confessing our sins tells God, first of all, "I've done wrong. I know I've done wrong, and I'm sorry." It also says, "Father, I trust you to take all this ugliness that I'm turning over to you, and make of it something beautiful ... something good."

How marvelous for us that it is the Father's great joy to do exactly that!

Jesus, we come to you humbly, realizing that we have sinned and come short of your glory. We confess our wrongdoings – each of us our own – and ask your forgiveness. Please cleanse us with your blood, and make us clean and pure. Thank you for being a forgiving God, for loving us just the way we are, and for being able and willing to erase our ugly sins and make us clean! Amen

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