A Life Cleaned Up

Remember how that thing you said to somebody else just haunting you, until you went back to that person, saying I was wrong, please forgive me.


Billy Graham wrote: Several years ago I was to be interviewed at my home for a well-known television show and, knowing that it would appear on nationwide television, my wife took great pains to see that everything looked nice. She had vacuumed and dusted and tidied up the whole house but had gone over the living room with a fine-tooth comb since that was where the interview would be filmed. When the film crew arrived with all the lights and cameras, she felt that everything in the living room was spic and span. We were in place along with the interviewer when suddenly the television lights were turned on and we saw cobwebs and dust where we had never seen them before. In the words of my wife, “I mean, that room was festooned with dust and cobwebs which simply did not show up under ordinary light.” The point is, of course, that no matter how well we clean up our lives and think we have them all in order, when we see ourselves in the light of God’s Word, in the light of God’s holiness, all the cobwebs and all the dust do show up.

When we say something hurtful to a friend or a family member, we know we can’t just ignore the harm we have caused (we should know, anyway). In order to repair the relationship and earn back trust, we have to acknowledge the rift we have created.  When we do, healing takes place in the relationship.  But when it comes to our relationship with God, we don’t always look at it the same way.

Those being baptised by John the Baptist repented and publicly admitted their sins (Mark 1:4–5).

When the people confessed their sins, it was the outward indication of that repentance.  Here in Mark 1:5 the Greek words used indicate that this confession was an open one to those who were also waiting in line for baptism by John, this confession was not a private one just to John. The word “confess” is homologeō, made up of legō  “to speak,” and homos “the same,” the compound word meaning “to speak the same thing that another speaks,” thus, “to agree with someone else.”  Confession of sin is more than just an acknowledgment of sin in the life. It is an agreeing with God as to all the implications that enter into the fact that one has sinned. It is looking at sin from God’s point of view, and acting accordingly. It means the putting away of that sin. It means the determination to be done with that sin.

All Christians, in fact, must agree with God that they are sinners (1 John 1:8–10). James presented a fuller picture: when a Christian is ill, the elders are to visit and give the person opportunity to confess any sins (James 5:16).  As in the Psalms (like in Psalm 39), forgiveness and healing (the moral and the physical) are tied to confession.  Recalling that principle, James urged Christians to confess their sins to one another.

Unconfessed sin is unforgiven sin, and unforgiven sin is the darkest, foulest thing on this sin-cursed earth. (D. L. Moody)

A child of God will confess sin in particular; an unsound Christian will confess sin by wholesale – he will acknowledge that he is a sinner in general. (Thomas Watson)