Confession, whether it be the public acknowledgement of Christ’s sovereignty or the private acknowledgement of our own sinfulness, can be difficult. Acknowledging Christ’s sovereign rule strikes at the very heart of our sinful nature, which wants nothing more than to see itself upon the throne of the universe. It hurts to admit that we are not God, for it is the first stage in killing that part of ourselves that is in rebellion against God.
Admitting our sinfulness is difficult for a completely different reason. The admission that we have done things that are nothing short of evil is (rightly) accompanied by a profound sense of shame. This is especially true for those of us who follow Jesus. “After all,” our hearts tell us, “you are supposed to know better. How can you claim to be a Christian when you do things like that?”
At times like these, we need to remember that God is faithful. He keeps His promises even when we don’t. When we confess our sins, God promises to forgive us and to remove those sins from our lives, and that is exactly what He will do. Sure, it can be difficult to admit our wrongdoing, but God already knows about it. So we might as well confess it and allow God to do the work that He has promised to do.
1 John 5-10
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Questions for Reflection
In what ways does Christ’s sovereignty threaten your own agenda for your life? Are there things that you want that you think Christ cannot or will not provide?
What sins do you need to confess to God? Be specific, and think about the physiological, psychological, or other needs that may have motivated you to commit those sins.
Father, please forgive me for the things that I have done wrong. Help me to see all the ways that my life has been influenced by unrighteousness, and help me to confess those things to you so that you can more effectively clean up my life.