KEEPING AN HONEST ACCOUNT
1 John 1:8
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
We deceive ourselves when we say we have no sin. The Scripture doesn't say that we are sin; it says that it is possible for us to sin and for sin to reside in our mortal bodies (Romans 6:12). We are not sinless saints; we are saints who sin. It's important to keep honest account of our failures and pick up our cross daily. When we become aware of a discrepancy between our identity and our behavior, we must confess it and deal with it. The person who deceives himself by ignoring these sinful discrepancies and allowing them to build up is headed for a great fall.
Those of us who live in earthquake-prone Southern California keep hearing about "the big one," which is thought by many to be inevitable along the San Andreas fault. Whenever we experience minor earthquakes (up to about 4.0 on the Richter scale), we may be frightened by them a bit, but we also see them as a good sign. These little tremors mean that the plates in the earth's crust beneath us are shifting. As long as the crust is adjusting this way, it's unlikely that "the big one" will hit. It's when we don't get any minor earthquakes for several months or years that the danger of a major, devastating quake increases.
Similarly, living in the light, holding ourselves accountable to God, and confessing and dealing with sin on a daily basis prevents the major spiritual crises from building up in our lives. If we keep saying, "I don't have any sin," or if we fail to acknowledge our shortcomings and settle our differences with people as God convicts us of them, we're in for "the big one." We will eventually lose our health, our family, our job, or our friendships. Unacknowledged sin is like a cancer which will grow to consume us.
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