Ansell: We need to confront our sin, not ignore it
James the brother of Jesus told us in his letter to the Jewish Church to, “… confess your sins to each other and pray for each other … (James 5:16).”
Dr. Dustin Benge who is Provost of the Union School of Theology says, “My single most frustration in this life is my own sin. I want to love, but say hurtful things. I want to worship, but feel cold. I want to trust, but often doubt.”
Sin is not talked about much nowadays. I guess we don’t have the stomach for it. Sin is however that elephant in the room and the lump under the carpet that has been created by sweeping it under the rug for far too long. We all “stumble in many ways” and if we say we don’t we “deceive ourselves” (James 3:2 & 1st John 1:8).
Therefore, why not confront (throw off) the sin that “so easily entangles” us and then we can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1 - 3).” This is God’s will for each of our lives, and I’m ready if you are.
I do a weekly discipleship group with one of my best friends. My friend loves Jesus more than most, but he’s not perfect (I’m not either). Not only is he not perfect, but he knows it, and he admits it in very specific ways, a lot like Dr. Benge. Why can’t we all be like that? We can’t fix what we can’t face, right?!
I still hold to my theory that the biggest sinners make the best Christians (John 4:4-26). Christians that struggle with addictions don’t bother me per se. Christians struggling with their language that fill up cuss jars don’t bother me, either. It’s the Pharisee, it’s the self-righteous that sits in the pew every week, that’s the “Christian” that keeps me up at night.
The Bible demands we address the sin issues that plague God’s people and our culture (only sinners need a Savior, last time I checked we call this the Gospel and it is to be shared liberally and invade all the nooks and crannies of our lives). God says it’s not loving to look the other way when a brother or sister is struggling (Galatians 6:1). Believe it or not some people want help overcoming their sin, I know I do - it’s the first step towards restoration and wholeness. Less sin means greater dependence on the Lord and this strengthens the witness of the church in the public square - like I said, no one likes a hypocrite. Finally, confronting sin pushes us to actually love and even check on ourselves where we might be failing (Matthew 7:3-5). Looks like a win - win to me.
Go ahead, find an accountability partner, someone you can trust and share your struggles with, ask them to pray and see what God does in your life. God likes you and God is for you. He told me to tell you that.