by Darla Noble
Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.
Years ago when the kids were small, my husband left a package of gum lying on top of his dresser. One evening after coming in from working outside all day he noticed a few pieces were missing. He didn’t care that the chewing gum was gone or that one or more of the kids had obviously taken it. But we had a rule in our house that you didn’t use or take something that didn’t belong to you or that wasn’t ‘family owned’ without asking. So when he walked into the family room where the kids were playing and watching television, he casually asked, “Do you guys want the rest of the gum you got off my dresser?”
Two of the four looked up at him with puzzled looks on their faces. They obviously didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. One of the four wasn’t still too young to chew gum, so she, too, could be crossed off the ‘list of suspects’. That left only one. And wouldn’t you know it was the one who would choose gum over candy or ice cream any day of the week?
Thinking she was in trouble, she started to deny taking the gum, but soon realized to do so would be futile. Instead, she started making up excuses for what she’d done.
My husband stopped her mid-sentence and said, “Don’t make excuses. Just own it and let it go. I’m not mad that you took the gum. I’m not mad about anything. I just wanted to remind you that you need to ask permission before you take or use something that doesn’t belong to you.”
God doesn’t want us to make excuses or try to justify our sins. It also does no good to try to deny them. God knows what we’ve done. He wants us to own up to them, repent, and move on with the assurance that we are forgiven—because that’s just what God does. He hears, He forgives, and He moves forward.
Pray: Father in heaven, what a gift! Your full approval and your mercy. I want to live with that loving acceptance and protection for me. Thank you for the great things You has for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.