Confession—Not Another Softball
5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.1 John 1:5-10 (NIV)
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
If you're going to put me on a baseball field then you need to know that softballs are my favorite. Why? Because they're bigger, slower, and easier to hit. Softballs build my confidence. Throw me a softball and I look pretty good. Baseballs, though, are a whole other story. They're smaller, faster, and much harder to hit. Given the choice I'll choose a softball every time.
Calling ourselves Christian is similar. If given the choice between hitting softballs for God (easy, slow, and manageable) or hitting baseballs (fast, risky, and potentially dangerous) then I choose easy every time.
Confession is no softball which is exactly why I avoid it. You probably avoid it too. I don't mean just confessing to God. I'm talking about confessing your sins to another (James 5:16). Honestly, when was the last time you came to grips with a particular sin in your life—let alone confessed it to someone else? "My name is David and I've struggled with lust for the past 4 years and I need to confess it." Seriously? Who does that? Give me a familiar church song, a smile on everyone's face, and a worship service that finishes on time. Toss me a softball and I'll hit it every time.
When John wrote these verses in chapter one did he really mean that ignoring the sin in my life keeps me from knowing God? Did he really mean that every time I choose to live in the shadows of secret sin I am like a rat scurrying through the darkness in an ongoing effort to escape the light? Does Christ really see my refusal to confess my sin as a blatant rejection of Him?
It’s time to realize you've been a Christian long enough to graduate from softballs to baseballs. Still waiting for the first pitch? Start with confession. It might take some time to adjust to the light but trust me, you'll be glad you did.
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