If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9
Given the choice of confessing or not confessing, most people prefer to claim innocence.
That is certainly the case for 63-year-old John Saunders. Not so long ago, Saunders was hired by Patricia Hill who had bought an old mansion in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. As Hill was converting the home to a bed and breakfast, she discovered four dozen bottles of well-aged whiskey.
Corked and of a good vintage, the Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey was appraised at $100,000.
With the work of conversion done, Hill hired Saunders as a caretaker. The whiskey was put on display until Hill decided if she wanted to sell it or not. Now this is where things get interesting. Last March, she found out that the bottles, although still in their original cases, had been drained.
Saunders' DNA was found on the lips of the empty bottles.
You might think when Saunders was confronted with the evidence, he would make a confession. If you thought that, you would be wrong. Instead, he claimed the following:
1. The whiskey was so old it was unsafe to drink, so therefore he didn't do it.
2. The whiskey (which had sat just fine for over 100 years) evaporated in these last months.
3. Hill had hired an appraiser who inflated the price of the whiskey, so she could make money off of him. The bottles, Saunders claims, were worth no more than $10 each.
At first I thought Saunders was taking excuses to extremes, but when I look at the fall of man, I see Adam and Eve doing much the same thing. They're caught red-handed, but still they deny responsibility. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the snake. Oh, Adam also tried to throw some of the guilt on God when he said, "The woman You gave me tempted me to eat" (see Genesis 3:12).
The apostle John says we Christians are not to try and pretend we have no sin. Our protests, as lengthy and as vehement as they might be, are only a way of deceiving ourselves. They certainly don't mislead God.
Far better for us to confess our sins because we know the Lord will forgive us and cleanse us from every stain upon our souls. We know that because Jesus came to this earth to offer Himself as the ransom that would make such an act possible. Now, because Jesus lived, suffered, died and rose for us, we know we are made spotless and right before our just Judge.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, let me be honest about my sins and in my confession. Keep me from trying to cover up the wrongdoing You already know. Then, having made confession may I rejoice in the forgiveness won for me by my Savior. In His Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries