Monday, May 14, 2012

Confessing My Sins

I have a sin in my life that I am going to confess, one that I have confessed before my God and asked for His mercy and His forgiveness. The conviction came yesterday when I spoke something that was not nice, in fact, it was unnecessary. There was no purpose and no point in what I spoke. My pride came to the forefront and I very possibly offended this person with my words. This is not the first time that has happened to me, and it is not the first time that the Holy Spirit has convicted me of it either.
My tongue gets me into trouble more times than not, and I find that the conviction comes, but lately I have been making excuses for my lack of control. I tell the Lord that “this is who I am; this is who you made me to be. You know me; You know I was just joking….” Not only does my pride make its way out of my mouth, but sometimes a sarcastic remark that I find funny, but my husband or the person at the end of that sarcastic statement, doesn’t find the humor in it.
David, the psalmist, understood more than anyone I think what happens to a person when they do not confess the transgression that the Lord convicts us of. I found myself understanding and sympathizing with David this morning, as the Lord led me to read Psalm 32. David starts off this song of forgiveness with, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”  We, as believers have great joy and comfort and peace in knowing that our sins are forgiven. We can take comfort in Jesus Christ who carried our sins upon Himself to a cross and willingly died for our forgiveness. We have hope of complete forgiveness because of what Jesus did for us. But how often do I give up that joy and that peace because I am a stubborn mule? (Psalm 32:9) How often do I let my pride get in the way of forgiveness? Too many times to count unfortunately!
John tells us in his 1st epistle that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Yet instead of confessing my sins the moment the Holy Spirit convicts me of them, I make up an excuse to hold onto them. Oh, this wretched woman, who shall save me from this unruly and wicked heart? I thank God for Jesus Christ who does forgive me, even when I fail to recognize His faithfulness towards me.
I found myself having some issues with my sleep, and just overall not feeling like myself. David warns us believers that if we do not confess our sins, our bodies will be affected, our days will be days of drought. “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer.” (vs. 3-4) You see, because He had convicted me of my sins against my husband and my brother, my sin of unholy and ungodly words, and I failed to confess them, I failed to recognize them as sin, it affected my whole being.
We know that God cannot dwell with sin, which is why Jesus came. To free us from the power of sin so that we can have a relationship with God the Father, so that He can dwell with us, and within us. But if we are holding onto un-confessed sin, what are we asking the Holy God to do? We are asking Him to overlook our sin and bless us, in spite of our transgressions. That is not the God I have come to known that is not the God I have come to love. So what am I to do? I was struggling with this sin, I knew that He was convicting me of it, but for some reason I just couldn’t let it go. I just couldn’t figure out how to make it go away. Then He spoke to me and showed me that I must, “acknowledge my sin to You {Him}.And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and what did He say to me? “And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5) I was hiding my sin by not confessing it, and it was affecting every aspect of my walk. After yesterday, I woke this morning to a struggle because of it. How many blessings have I sacrificed so that I could hide a sin that He already sees and knows about?
So, now that I have confessed this sin of pride and my tongue, what happens next? What does He want me to do now? When we “confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) I have confessed, He has forgiven, and now, He promises to cleanse me from this sin. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Psalm 32:8) He promises that He will instruct me (to teach) and that He will guide me (to regulate and manage) all the words that come out of my mouth.
The word guide is what I need the most. I need His guidance, I need Him to regulate and manage all that comes out of my mouth. If He desires me to speak, then I shall speak. He has shown me my sin and I have confessed it, He has forgiven me and He promises to regulate my entire goings and all my words. This is a hard sin for me, and I must say that there are times when words slip out and I don’t even realize it. But He promises that He will be there to guide me, but I have to allow Him to do the guiding. What did I learn from all my struggles with this sin today? That my trust, my instruction, my guide is in Him and through Him. He will help me manage my tongue, so long as I allow Him to do so.
The tighter I hold onto the sins He has convicted me of, the longer I let them dwell within my heart, the harder it will be on me physically and spiritually. Matthew Henry stated, “the character of him whose sins are pardoned- he is sincere, and seeks sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit..” I seek to be cleansed from this sin of pride and sarcasm. The Lord showed me today that my words, no matter what, should be ones that build up, ones that speak peace and grace, and ones that lift up Him, they are not to tear down, hurt, not jesting , nor cause my brother and sisters to stumble.
We are given peace and joy and are cleansed from our sins when we confess them to our God and King. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and He desires to instruct us and guide us so that we do not fall back into that sin, but forever be cleansed of them. Why do we hold onto sin when forgiveness is freely offered? We let ourselves live in self-condemnation, rather than be freed from the chains of sin that keep us from our God and Savior who gave His life for us.
Lord Jesus, I pray that my words would be words that lift up, that encourage, and that point others to you. When I speak with sarcasm, I draw attention to myself, and hurt those who are at the end of my words. Lord, let my heart be sincere before You, forgive me for my sins, and instruct me, guide me in the way that You desire me to go. Let me be “quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.” (James 1:19) May the words of my heart bring glory to You, now and forever. Amen.