Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Confession: Good for the Soul - Martin Wiles

Series: The Road to Humility

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.” Luke 18:13 NLT

The garden stakes with identifying tags stood tall, but not for long.

What made eight-year-old Michelle want to remove the garden stakes is anybody’s guess. My guess—since she is now my wife—is that her personality got in the way. She likes things in order, and the garden stakes probably didn’t fit. So she pulled each one up and laid them to the side. What she didn’t know was that her neighbor watched from the window. Not only did she watch but she also called Michelle’s mom who in turn confronted Michelle about her actions. Michelle confessed, not having intended to do anything wrong.

My heart wasn’t as tender as Michelle’s. As a pre-teen, I began delving into addictive substances and hanging out with the wrong crowd. I had trusted Christ as my Savior at nine, so God’s Spirit regularly aggravated me about my sinful actions—but I didn’t listen. Neither did I confess. Confessing wouldn’t have done any good because I wasn’t sorry and didn’t intend to change my behavior. Eight years later, I did confess. I then felt sorrow. 

In Jesus’ story, the one who needed to confess didn’t: the Pharisee. He was self-righteous, put God under obligation to himself, thought he was all that, and bragged about his many good deeds. But he was a sinner. The tax collector—considered a sinner by all—recognized his sinfulness and confessed to God. Jesus pronounced him forgiven, not the Pharisee.

Humility breeds in the practice of confession. Our initial confession and repentance bring forgiveness and a restored relationship with God. Perfection, however, doesn’t follow salvation. I fail God daily, although not intentionally. Daily confessing my sins and failures keeps the communication line between me and God open. When I don’t, the lines get static in them. God speaks, but I can’t hear Him clearly.

Confession also reminds me someone greater than I controls me. I’m answerable to God. He is my boss. I can do as I like … but not without consequence. My eternity—and present enjoyment of life—lies in His hands, and my choices affect it.

Confess your sins and failures daily to God so you can enjoy life at its best.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the forgiveness You continually give when we confess our faults to You.

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