Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy . . . He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone.”
Not one of us is perfect. We know that about each other but most of the time we find it convenient to ignore that reality about ourselves. I don’t just make mistakes or mess up – I sin.
It’s time to stop blaming the environment, a spouse, our parents, a boss, or our neighbors. No longer can we go on ignoring our responsibility to live life according to God’s standards instead of our preferences. Just because we see someone else acting in sin does not make it right. We can’t justify our sin based on what “everyone else is doing.”
Too many times, what starts as a confession often ends up an excuse: “I didn’t mean to yell at you; I was having a bad day.” There is no excuse for sin. There is no one to blame. Don’t ignore it or pretend to not notice.
It’s time to admit it: I am not perfect.
“To confess means to own up to the fact that our behavior wasn’t just the result of bad parenting, poor genes, jealous siblings, or a chemical imbalance from too many Twinkies. Any or all of these factors may be involved. Human behavior is a complex thing. But confession means saying that somewhere in the mix was a choice, and the choice was made by us, and it does not need to be excused, explained, or even understood. The choice needs to be forgiven. The slate has to be wiped clean.” (John Ortberg in “The Life You Always Wanted”)
Sin must be confessed. Repentance must be genuine. Change must take place in our lives. In fact, genuine, authentic repentance always results in change.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 1:8-2:2 NIV)