Encouraged by honesty

I think one of the hardest things that we can do in life is to really take a look at where we are.  It sure is painful to sit with God and shine light on the areas of our lives we need to work on.  I know.  I did it this morning.

Today I took my Bible out and felt compelled to read through Exodus chapter 20; the ten commandments.  I opened a word document and typed out all ten commandments.  These are the words God gave to us to help us win the race that He has called us to.  Then I went back to the beginning.  One by one I typed out a confession of all of the ways that I had broken those commandments. 

Let me give you an example; under you shall not murder, I listed all of the ways I have been hurtful to others.  I have said things that were discouraging and caused pain.  I have rolled my eyes.  I have acted immaturely.  Unfortunately, many of my confessed sins in this area were hurtful to those closest to me.  Those I love the most. 

Now, I know this doesn’t give anyone warm fuzzy feelings inside.  I had just started on the first commandment when I myself realized that I was going to find a lot of yuck to deal with.  As hard as it was to really be honest with God, I knew I had to be.  These sins I was hanging onto were going unforgiven and were separating me from God. 

It says in 1 John 1:8-9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteouseness.” 

It would be really easy for me to take my list of confessions and beat myself up with it.  I humbly acknowledge my list was three typed pages when I was done.  But in doing this I did not experience condemnation, I experienced the opposite.  I feel as if a burden has been lifted.  I have been encouraged. 

It dawned on me when reading through the verses from 1 John that it is my job to confess my sins.  The rest is up to God.  He is faithful.  He is just.  He will forgive.  God will purify.  I had to take the first step and then allow God to take it from there. 

Not only I am I encouraged.  I have a list of things that God showed me that I need to do to make bring new life to my relationships.  They won’t be easy.  I am going to be humbled in the completion of them.  God asked me to do them.  So I must pray and obey.  I have a direction to move in and steps to take. 

I hope that when you experience an honest and open review of your life, that you too, are encouraged and are blessed with direction.  Here is a prayer to help us on our way.

Dear Lord,  Thank You for times of quiet reflection.  Thank You for helping us to be honest with You.  Thank You for blessing us with encouragement in our moments of weakness.  Please help us to let go of what we have been holding onto, help us to give it to You for by Your hand beauty can come from it and help us to then do the the hard things that You ask of us in return.  May we please see glimpses of Your greatness along the way.  In the end may You get the glory.  Amen.   

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