February 26, 2011

Admit It

Psalm 51:1-6

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Psalm 51:5


So what about you? Are you addicted to sin?

The addict’s response is predictable: “Of course not. I could quit at any time!” It’s called denial, the last defense of the hopelessly addicted.

The same is true for us. It’s natural to want to hide our sins. Yet sins are like mildew: they grow in hidden corners. Unchecked by accountability or truth-telling, our sins take on a life of their own as we get used to things that should bother us.

There’s a fact that stands behind every recovery group: if you join the group, you’re going to have to change. No one joins an AA group looking for drinking buddies. Acknowledging our sins together appropriately can be one of the best ways to clean out the dank corners of our lives.

That’s the dynamic that should be present in the fellowship of Christ’s church. The church is called to be a community that practices transparency. The point is not to force someone to grovel but to set them free from the lies that keep them from freedom in the Spirit.

Obviously this kind of sharing requires healthy relationships with genuine trust. One of the greatest challenges a church family has is to create an environment where healthy relationships can flourish.

Are you able to share the corners of your heart with trusted people in your community?

God, help us to embrace the truth. May our churches be places of refuge where we can honestly and openly confess our sins. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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