September 18, 2011
I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin. Psalm 38:18
Any time you sit down with a gaggle of physicians, dentists, teachers, pastors, funeral directors or just about any group that works with the public, you are going to hear some good stories.
Still, for my money, the folks with the best anecdotes are the police.
When it comes to humorous tales and inventive excuses, the men with the badges have heard it all.
Not so long ago, a Missouri State Highway Patrolman told me how he had stopped a fellow who was doing 80 in a 55 mile-per-hour zone. When the officer asked for an explanation, the driver said a bee had been flying around his head, and he was doing 80 because he knew bees couldn't fly that fast.
Years ago, a South Dakota officer shared the story of a lady he had stopped. She had been driving like the furies, so he asked her, "Where's the fire?" She shared how she had set off a couple of bug bombs at home when she left for work. Unfortunately she had forgotten to get her canary out of the house. She was racing home to see if she could save Tweetie.
I suppose making excuses for our wrong-doing comes pretty natural to most of us. After all, humanity has had a lot of practice: Eve blamed the snake for her sin, and Adam threw his wife under the bus when he was asked the reason for his transgressing. But Adam didn't stop with putting the blame on his wife. No, he tried to shift the ultimate responsibility to God when he said something like, "You know, Lord, this is really Your fault. If You hadn't given me this lady, I'm pretty sure this sin thing would never have happened."
Yup, all of us make excuses, and we shouldn't.
The Lord doesn't want our excuses and He most certainly doesn't need them. What He wants is for us to come clean, to approach Him as did the psalmist who said, "I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sins."
An acknowledgment of our guilt puts us in the proper spiritual place to appreciate the forgiveness and peace God so graciously gives to His children of faith.
It is the forgiveness and peace that Jesus gave His life to win.
Another Psalm says it better than I ever could: "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, when it comes to the evils of sin, may I always come clean. Grant me the spiritual maturity not to excuse or try and hide my sin. Instead, let me come to You and confess: Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. Then, knowing I have that mercy because of Jesus, grant me the ability to live as one of Your forgiven children. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries