Unconfessed sin hurts us. Our refusal to acknowledge our feelings and acts of rebellion keeps us from God.
1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.
13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded.
18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.
Unconfessed sin shows a rebellious heart. Proverbs deals with three levels of attitude concerning sin and our relationship with the Father:
- The simple-one who doesn’t know better, yet has a tendency toward sinful actions. He is drawn to them easily. We must show him the way of righteousness.
- The fool-one who knows better, but can’t resist sin, nor is he interested in learning how to break the pattern. We must rebuke him and put him on probation until he has repented and learned new ways of thinking and doing.
- The mocker-one who enjoys sin and gets mad if a person has a different opinion; in fact, the mocker intimidates and ridicules a person for having a different opinion or for pointing the error of his ways. Stay away from him! Until he has a change of heart, he is like poison. If you feel led to rebuke him, understand that YOU will become the problem.
We all have been each of these at one time or another. Our goal is to be the wise child who heeds our Father’s instruction. Here is what He says:
23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my heart to you and make my thoughts known to you. Proverbs 1:23
Are we really interested in knowing God? in being like Him? in walking with Him and learning to be just like Jesus? We must ask ourselves these questions each time that we are tempted to look away, to stray, or to return to old ways. The great part about being a Christ-Follower is that we get to enjoy His presence and participation in our lives. We get to enjoy His love, joy and peace. We have hope and receive grace–but only if we are willing to confess our sinfulness (agree with God that we love wrong) and give ourselves over to Him to transform our lives into godly ones. It’s a process–a daily process. We have this promise:
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen [that in which we hope], since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
King David knew how to repent. In Psalm 51, he came right out with it:
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.
David prayed for a willing spirit. We should, too. We need the want-to to want to, and He gives it freely (Phil. 2:13). Understanding that until we are free of these old bodies, we will never be free from the temptations of the flesh. We stay in a constant tension between our will and God’s will. We die to self so that we can live for Him. His Spirit is in the driver’s seat from now on! Let’s give ourselves over quickly to Him through repentance and washing with the water of the Word (Eph. 5:26). Let us “set our face like flint” (Isaiah 50:7) to follow the LORD today.
Abba, how important it is for us to realize the seriousness of how we live our lives. It’s not so much that we fail You as it is that we miss out on the fellowship and teaching that walking with You offers. You have SO MUCH to show us and do with us! I can hardly wait to get to Your side and eventually experience Eden with You. Even so, come, LORD Jesus.