Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Progression of Sin: Part 3 - Reverse the Curse

There is a simple act that God put into place to counteract the progression of sin. It is confession. Mastering the art of confession will lead to other critical things like repentance (changing behavior), and humility (changing attitude), and the ability to resist temptation (changing thinking), etc. But the starting place is confession. Three quick things about confession:
    1. Confession is agreeing with God that we have done something wrong; that we’ve either done something He says we shouldn’t do, or failed to do something He says we should do. No intermediary is necessary - we can go directly to God with this
    2. The scope of the confession should match the scope of the sin. Sin should be confessed as widely as it affects others. Private sin requires only private confession to God. Personal sin that involves others requires interpersonal confession to the people involved. Public sins (those that affect a large group of people) regrettably must be confessed publicly as an example and as a warning to others.
    3. Confession should be specific. We have a tendency to throw all our sins in a big pile like dirty laundry and ask God to forgive all of it. There is power in getting painfully honest: God, I told those people I was late for the meeting because the traffic was bad. Truthfully I just procrastinated and didn’t give myself enough time to get there. I knew that I was going to be rushed before I left. Telling them that it was traffic was a lie. I am a liar. Please forgive me. Usually the root of sin goes even deeper than that. The reason that I lied was that I wanted to control their impression of me. I wanted them to think better of me than is real. The result is that now I am living an image rather than living in reality. And it is an image I'm going to have to work to keep up even if it's not really me.

1 comment:

Lora said...

Thanks for clarifying for me that confession should involve only the injured party. I tend to forget that when hurt and wanting sympathy!