I love to throw things away.
Maybe I’m weird, but I get great satisfaction out of putting things where they belong-like garbage in a garbage bag. Sometimes I miss the garbage truck and that stinks (pun totally intended). If I don’t get the stinky garbage out on garbage day, I have to live with it for another week. At that point, I have two choices: one, I can tie it up and leave it in the basement. This may sound like a good idea, but if my dog gets a whiff of it, she will do whatever it takes to tear it up. Then I will have to clean up. Choice number two is to put the bag outside in the garbage can. This is the best option, but again, some animal may come along and sift through it and then I am out there cleaning it up in ten below zero weather. The upside to cleaning up garbage in the winter in the U.P. is that whatever went into the garbage as slimy and nasty will become a frozen, no longer stinky, solid object pretty quickly. Still, I hate missing the garbage truck, so when I do succeed in getting my garbage out, I feel cleaner, lighter and freer. Like I said, I might be weird.
As I celebrated getting ALL my garbage out in time for the garbage men the other day, the thought occurred to me, “Hey, you know, confession is like throwing your garbage in a bag, tying it up, and watching it ride away, never to return again. (Ps. 103:12) The Bible says in James 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Well, it actually is pretty straightforward because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Because of His sacrifice, He supplies us with the garbage bags and truck every time we ask for forgiveness. Thank God that He doesn’t offer “sin removal” only once a week. No, but He offers to “take out the trash” so-to-speak, whenever we confess our sins to Him. When we confess, He completely cleanses us from all of that nasty unrighteousness anytime and every time we ask!
On the other hand, if we allow that “garbage” (sin) to stay hidden in our spiritual house, it’s going to start to stink up the place. Eventually, the stench will come up the stairs out of the basement, and into the kitchen, right up to our front door. Unconfessed sin may start to come out of our mouths in the form of negativity, anger, judgment, or gossip. Only God knows the ways sin can affect us if we keep it hidden. King David said this about his own unconfessed sin, “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” (Psalm 32:3-4) WOW! If I read that right, unconfessed sin can be the cause of some of our physical ailments, and even depression.
I think our mission as Christians is pretty clear. Confess our sins right away, getting out the trash as soon as it manifests. Don’t hide it, don’t hold it, and for the Lord’s sake, don’t let others spread it out all over the ground.
I’m grateful that because of the cross of Jesus, and through the gift of confession, at anytime I can bag up my sin and throw it all into the heavenly garbage truck where I will never see it again.
“Unconfessed sin separates us from God. Confession of sin separates us from our sin.” dh