This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 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 1:5-10
Perhaps you’ve seen the sarcastic/funny remarks made by supervisors whose employees don’t quite meet minimum standards:
- “Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom…..and has started to dig.”
- “His men would follow him anywhere…but only out of morbid curiosity.”
- “I would not allow this employee to breed.”
- “This employee is really not so much of a ‘has-been’, but more of a definite ‘won’t be’.”
- “Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.”
- “When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet.”
- “He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.”
- “This young lady has delusions of adequacy.”
- “He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.”
- “This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.”
My favorite is the “delusions of adequacy” comment. Funny. Unless you know someone who labors under such delusions. Sadly, I do. The person who will remain anonymous, and who is an acquaintance from many years ago had no clue as to his ineptness. He was blind to his own inadequacy and impact on others. (No one reading this can possibly know of whom I speak, so don’t bother trying to figure it out.) I’m not certain that he was deceiving himself regarding any sinful propensity, but I do know he was blind to his own social deficiencies. He was not a joy to be around.
What’s worse, however, is when someone is not aware of the extent of his or her own sin. In fact, M. Scott Peck says that such an unawareness of one’s own shortcomings is the essence of evil. It is necessary that we first draw the distinction between evil and ordinary sin. It is not their sins per se that characterize evil people…The central defect of the evil is not the sin but the refusal to acknowledge it (P. 69).
Thankfully, however, we have a God who confronts us with our sin, calls us to repent and confess our sin, and promises to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Perhaps that gives greater urgency to the prayer of Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.