Confession and cleansing
by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel –
Often I find in counseling that some people have come to the place where they feel they can never be forgiven for the hurt and harm they have done to themselves, family, friends and to God.
The other day a man began to tell me that he had done so many things wrong that he just didn’t think he could ever be forgiven by God, by his family, by anyone. He was ready to give up, again.
That morning, in our family devotions, we read a story by Corrie Ten Boom of a little girl who broke one of her mother’s demitasse cups.
“The little girl came to her mother sobbing, ‘Oh, Mama, I’m so sorry I broke your beautiful cup.’
The mother replied, ‘I know you’re sorry and I forgive you. Now don’t cry any more.’ The mother then swept up the pieces of the broken cup and placed them in the trashcan. But the little girl enjoyed the guilty feeling. She went to the trash can, picked out pieces of the cup, brought them to her mother and sobbed, ‘Mother, I’m so sorry that I broke your pretty cup.’
“This time her mother spoke firmly to her, ‘Take those pieces and put them back in the trashcan. Don’t be silly enough to take them out again. I told you I forgave you, so don’t cry any more…’”
Don’t keep holding on to your guilt. If you have confessed your sins to Christ, he has forgiven them …forever.
Step 10 of the AA’s Twelve Step program says, “We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
We may feel awkward about bringing our recurrent sins before God. We may be embarrassed by the number of times we have had to deal with the same issues—issues that stubbornly refuse to be washed away.
We may imagine that God is collecting a long list of repeated offenses to be used against us.
The Apostle John wrote, “If we say we have not sinned, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. (And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.) If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts” (1 John 1:8-9).
Each time we confess a sin it is washed away. Our life is like a slate that has been wiped clean. Our sins are not recorded on some celestial list; they are gone, forever! Even when we make the same mistakes over and over again, God keeps forgiving us if we are truly repentant. Some areas of our life need more cleansing than others. God doesn’t get angry when we come back to him repeatedly.
How many times will God forgive? Seven time seven? Seventy times seven? No, as long as we are truly repentant, he forgives. The key is being “truly repentant” and allowing us to mature as he cleanses us from every wrong, every time.
When we confess our sins, God forgives us and purifies us from all unrighteousness. Jesus has already paid the price on the cross.
So if you are thinking about that sin that you committed, confess it to God and allow him to cleanse you…from every unrighteousness!
That’s why you see Christians smiling; they are not perfect but they have been FORGIVEN!