“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps 139:23-24)
A young lady working in a store was talking with a friend. A young man walked in, handed her a bag, and left. “That’s my husband,” the worker said. “He brought me lunch.” The friend thought that was nice. The worker’s answer was a little surprising: “He can be an idiot.” Then she quietly added, “So can I.”
The story is paraphrased a bit, but you get the idea. They’d obviously quarreled and were in the process of making up. It was never learned how the quarrel started. Maybe it started out as something simple but blew up. Maybe both of them were at least partly to blame. When you go to domestic calls, by the way, both parties may be at least partly to blame, so it’s important to get both sides of the story.
Marriage is a wonderful relationship between two people—man and woman—and it should be happy. But if you want it to be a happy marriage, be considerate of your spouse. If you do things that offend him or her, knowing that you’re being offensive, you’re showing a lack of consideration and asking for trouble.
Being a Christian is also a wonderful relationship between the Lord and the believer, and it should be happy, too. “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:3-4, boldface added). Yet here’s a big difference between marriage and the Christian life. If your Christian life is not joyful, you can’t say both parties are at fault, since one of the party is God. He’s holy and perfect, so if there’s a problem, it’s with you.
When you accept Jesus as Saviour, you have God the Holy Spirit inside you: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Yet you still have your human nature and its sinful tendencies, so you can expect at times to struggle with sin. That’s why you need to confess sin to God right away when you know you’re guilty.
When you know Jesus as Saviour, sin no longer condemns you to hell, but it still offends a holy God and hurts your fellowship with Him: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Unconfessed sin also turns God’s ear away from your prayer: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). Unconfessed sin also hardens your heart and makes you less interested in God: “…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
If your spouse were doing something offensive to hurt your fellowship, no doubt you’d point it out. If you were doing something offensive, your spouse would tell you. God also wants fellowship with us that isn’t hurt by sin, so at times He points out sin in our lives: “And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin” (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit convicts our hearts to confess and forsake sin.
When we’re tempted, the Holy Spirit uses Scripture to help us. God’s Word cleanses our hearts and lives: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). God’s Word also strengthens us against temptation: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). That’s why we need to stay in the Word often.
Our passage is sort of a template to ask the Lord if anything in our lives needs to be confessed: in our hearts, our thought-life, or any of our ways. When we confess sin as needed, our walk with the Lord is closer and sweeter. Do you know that your sins are eternally forgiven, and that heaven is your home? If not, please click “Helpful Links” and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the main menu.
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822