Confession — Good for the Soul

In our day of “happy church” and trying to always look on the “bright side” we many times miss what is vitally important in the Christian life.  We are so busy trying to look like we have it all together that we forget that most of the time (at least this is my case) we don’t.

One of the elements that is missing in many of our lives is a vital bowing before the Lord in confession of sin.  John, in his first epistle, indicates that one of the marks of a true believer in Jesus Christ is that he/she is a person who takes confession seriously.  In the day of tolerance driven media, many times we find ourselves being too tolerant of our sin.  Yes, if we are in Christ it is already forgiven and dealt with through His sacrifice, but scripture indicates that it is imperative that we see sin as it truly is in our own lives — an enemy that must be killed (the Puritans, and Bible, like to call it mortification, which is a great word) in a practical way and on a daily basis.

Confession is not going to a priest, or pastor, in order to gain forgiveness.  It is going to the Great High Priest we have been studying about in Hebrews, and agreeing with Him about what He says about our sin.  It is liberating and joy creating when we go to Him in confession on a regular basis.

Last Sunday during the Pastoral Prayer we used a responsive reading of confession. I cannot tell you the number of people who indicated that that time was especially spiritually refreshing to them.  I agree!  It was to me too.

I want to encourage you to use it in your private devotions with our Lord each day. It will grow and grow in meaning, I assure you:*

Most merciful Father, we have sinned against you. We realize that we are guilty before you. Forgive us the sins of our tongues—
For deception and untruthfulness in our dealings with
others; for resentment, coldness, impatience, and tempers out of control.

Forgive us for the sins of our eyes—
For impurity in our glances and imagination; for pining
after more beauty, comfort, status, and wealth than you have given us.

Forgive us the sins of our hearts—
For hard-heartedness toward you and our neighbors; for pride, self-absorption, self-pity; and above all, for rebelling against your Lordship and doubting your love.

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. (1 John 1: 8-9)

* Thanks to my friends at Clifton Baptist Church

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