“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.”
I John 1:8-9
Why would John write, “If we claim we have no sin”? Who would ever claim that? Who in their right mind would think that they do not sin? The truth is that those of us in the church are close to doing that very thing. We come to a point where we feel we need to live a certain way in order to be a follower of Christ. Now while there is virtue in trying to live a righteous life, we will never be sinless. So there becomes a temptation to try and hide any “sins” that we may have. There seems to be fear of humiliation or a shame that comes with “falling from Grace.” This makes it hard for Christians to be honest and open with each other. Perhaps John’s message today would be something like, “There are no perfect people in the church, so don’t pretend you are without sin. Go ahead and confess to God and each other. Christ is faithful to forgive you.” In order to be real, we need to come to God and confess our sins, admit our needs and get the help we need. It is in sharing our struggles and helping each other that we experience true Christianity. Then we help others in the way we were helped. This is what people are looking for. They will think, “Finally, someone who is real! Someone who knows what I am going through and can help me.” The sooner the community knows that there are no perfect people allowed at church, the sooner they will feel comfortable enough to come. Then they can experience the same grace, love and forgiveness that we feel.
Father, You know my situation. You know my shortcomings. Help me keep it real with You. Help me confess my sins so that I might experience Your freedom and forgiveness. And then, Father, help me help others, in the same way You have helped me. Bring revival, Lord, to my church. Help us embrace our shortcomings, confess them one to another and accept Your forgiveness. Might we be a witness of Your grace throughout our community and to all who enter our doors. In Jesus’ name.