May 22, 2013
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
It was 1985 when Coca-Cola introduced "New Coke." It was an ooops! that cost them dearly.
In 2011 the movie provider Netflix tried to make some money by charging people more for the same services. It was an ooops! and the mistake cost Netflix a great many customers.
Recently, retailer JCPenney tried to make some changes. Under the leadership of Ron Johnson, the company tried to ditch old brands, overhaul its prices, and change its name to JCP. This also was an ooops! moment. JCPenney stock fell 50 percent.
Recognizing its ooops! JCPenney is putting out an advertisement which says, in part, "Come back to JCPenney. We heard you (and your disappointment). Now we'd love to see you."
That's really quite an apology for an ooops! moment. Now we will have to wait and see if the customers are pleased and are willing to return.
When a company has an ooops! moment, it can be catastrophic. When an individual has an ooops! moment, it can be much, much worse. Of course, you can read your Bible and nowhere will you find anything which says humans have ooops! moments. That's because we don't have ooops! moments, we have sins. Sin is a deliberate or an accidental violation of God's good and perfect will. If that sin stays on a soul, it doesn't mean loss of revenue, it means eternal damnation.
So, what are we to do with our sin?
The answer is simple: we do what JCPenney did. We confess our sins. We admit before the Lord we have transgressed and are truly repentant for our actions.
Of course, there is a difference between us and JCPenney. That company must wait to see if their apology is accepted. They must sit tight for a while before they find out if their customers will come back.
That's not the way it is for us.
The Lord has promised -- for the sake of His Son who carried our sins to the cross -- that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us those sins and cleanse us from all the stains they had brought about. In short, with faith in Jesus, a repentant heart is forgiven.
Of course, J.C. Penney, the man who founded the company, would have understood all of this.
How could he not?
He was a Christian.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that although my sins were as scarlet, because of Jesus they have been washed away, and my soul is as white as snow. In Jesus' Name I give thanks. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries