Instead of thinking about sin talk as an endless stream of negativity and browbeating, think of it as something good. It is, after all, a part of God’s rescue package that is called the “Good News.”
Sin Is Heavy
Suffering feels like our biggest problem and avoiding it like our greatest need—but we know that there is something more. Sin is actually our biggest problem, and rescue from it is our greatest need.
There is a link between the two. Suffering exposes the sin in our hearts in a way that few things can. When our lives are trouble free, we can confuse personal satisfaction for faith. We can think that God is good, and we are pleased with him, though we might be pleased less with him than we are with the ease of our lives. Then, when life is hard—especially when life remains hard—the allegiances of our hearts become more apparent. Suffering will reveal sin that still “clings so closely” to us (Heb. 12:1), and sin weighs a lot.
We don’t always like to look at it, but this burden needs to be dealt with. Sin is the heaviest of weights; forgiveness is the greatest deliverance.
See the Weight
Only people who know they have burdens can be delivered from them. Sadly, the method for that deliverance—confession—has been tarnished. We are slow to talk about sin for fear that it could threaten our already fragile egos or label us as judgmental and narrow-minded. But instead of thinking about sin talk as an endless stream of negativity and browbeating, think of it as something good. It is, after all, a part of God’s rescue package that is called the “Good News.”
Written by a prominent biblical counselor, this practical book aimed at everyday Christians will equip readers with the tools they need to wisely walk alongside one another in the midst of life’s struggles.
So though it’s true that sin itself is not good, to see our sin is good. Whereas sin leads down a burden-filled path, Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Confession is essential to that life.
Seeing the weight of our sin brings blessings. Here are three:
1. Seeing the weight of our sin drives us to Jesus.
It is the Spirit’s work to help us see our sin (John 16:8). This drives us to Jesus for forgiveness, and this is very good. Jesus comes for sinners, not the righteous (Matt. 9:13). Conviction of sin shows that we are alive and responsive. Conviction means that we can see ourselves, at least partly, and that is a prerequisite for talking with friends about sins (Matt. 7:3–5).
With no need for mercy, why bother sticking with Jesus? If we look to him merely for deliverance from life’s difficult circumstances, we would do better with Prozac or a little cunning. These, at least in the short term, seem more effective.
2. Seeing the weight of our sin brings humility.
An awareness of sin brings humility—not shame or humiliation—and humility is a brilliant reflection of Jesus to others.
The tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18:13–14)
Here is a community goal: to be able to identify one pattern of sin in our lives, and to be able to do it with only a moment’s notice any time we are asked.