Today is a New Beginning

brokenvase” … confess your sins to one another … “ James 5:16

“If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” 1 John 1:10

Probably the most wonderful thing about knowing Jesus is that he knows me. So no matter how frustrated I am with myself at any given moment, Jesus already knows what I did wrong. (He also knows when I’m just displeased with something that actually doesn’t matter at all in the great scheme of things.)

This means, for starters, that when I admit to Jesus that I’ve done wrong, I’m not telling him anything he doesn’t already know. It’s not like sidling shamefacedly up to Dad or Mom and beginning to stammer out some confession about a vase broken or a lie told. Unlike Mom and Dad, Jesus already knows what happened. And unlike some parents, Jesus has a consistent and dependable response:

“Come here. I love you. I forgive you. Will you let me help you to not do it again?”

Of course, like all parents, God knows that the odds are I’m going to get the same thing wrong again … and again … and again. And while my feelings about my continuing failure may be shame and guilt, God’s feeling is always the same:

“Come here. I love you. I forgive you. Will you let me help you to not do it again?”

No matter how badly I mess up, I know God is always there with the same response. God wants me to admit my mistakes so I can hear the same answer over and over and get the same opportunity for help again and again:

“Come here. I love you. I forgive you. Will you let me help you to not do it again?

The only question is: Why does God tell us to confess our sins to one another? Doesn’t that give imperfect people leverage over us and excuses to avoid us?

Sure. It can. But it also can liberate us. As we find that all of the people we know and love are still turning to Jesus for love and forgiveness, we gain courage to continue our own battles.

God loves me. God forgives me. And God offers strength not to do it again.

About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at, and on Facebook at MyHouseHasHistory.
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