If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. 1 John 1:9-10
So, what do you do when you're doing something wrong and get caught red-handed?
I can tell you what Larry Jones of Buffalo, New York, did. Before I share, let me tell you his story. Jones had gone to Darien Lake Theme Park. When Jones was attacked by a case of the munchies, he used a $50 bill to buy himself some French fries.
Actually, Jones used a counterfeit $50 bill to buy his snack. The bill was recognized as bogus, the authorities were called, and he was arrested. As he was being led away, Jones stuffed three more counterfeit fifties into his mouth and tried to eat them. Later on, Jones said he had been paid the money for doing a handyman job.
So let me ask again, what do you do when you're doing something wrong and get caught red-handed?
Scripture has a number of examples that cover a pretty wide spectrum of possibilities. For example, Adam and Eve hid themselves from God in some of the Garden's vegetation. Ananias and Sapphira came out with a pack of lies, denying their wrongdoing and Judas, well, Judas went out and hanged himself.
In his first epistle, John suggests there are basically two ways we can handle our wrongdoing. One way is to say, "I haven't sinned." Such a blatant denial might sometimes work with other people, but God looks in our hearts, and He can plainly see our guilt.
Since denial doesn't do the job, John suggests a better way of dealing with our sins. He encourages God's people to confess those misdeeds. A repentant heart is far more pleasing to the Lord. John continues, if we do confess our sins, God will forgive us.
No, we aren't forgiven because of our confession. We are forgiven because Jesus' life, suffering, death and resurrection have washed us of our sins and God declares us "innocent."
So, what do you do when you're doing something wrong and get caught red-handed? When it comes right down to it, John would say, "There's only one way ... and that is by making a confession to your God."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, although we cannot remember all our sins, You know every one of them. Rather than pretending those sins aren't there, help us make hearty confession of our many wrongdoings. Then, forgiven and restored, raise us up, so we may make a thankful witness of what You have done. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries