Monday, October 1, 2012

It Wasn’t Me

“If we say, "We aren't sinful" we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” John 1.8
I can’t explain why I had a water balloon in church.  I simply did.  It’s about 1974 and the church is in Rochester, Texas.  I am all of nine years old.  It’s somewhere around 11:30 on a Sunday morning; the hymn singing is over and my dad – the church pastor is making his way into the morning message.  I’m on the back pew with my friends Rob and Ron Ballard.  Their dad, a man known by the name “Cracker” is sitting to my left and Rob and Ron are to my right. 

Rob and Ron knew I had the water balloon.  It might as well have been a live animal…or a hand grenade.  Their eyes told the story of their sense of concern for my contraband.  I had a water balloon…in church.  Again, I have no idea where I got this balloon, or why I felt the need to bring it to church.  However, I did manage to keep it hidden for the first half of the service.  I was a clever sort.  I had now placed it behind me against the pew so that the elder Mr. Ballard would not know I had it.

All was well until somewhere during what must have been my father’s first sermon point, when I grew restless in the pew and decided to adjust my posture.  I scooted back in the pew and pressed the balloon beyond its capacity to keep the water.  Suddenly a veritable Niagara of water is unleashed behind me…and not only me…but reaching Cracker Ballard as well.  He was not amused!  My immediate reaction was to say, “Where did that water come from????”

Suddenly, the four of us were scrambling to escape the flood.  Our commotion did not escape my father’s gaze.  From there on the back row, I could see his scowl.  I was in deep water…and not the water spreading there across the back pew.  This figurative deep water would be back at home.  And it would be very…very hot.

Honest, I didn’t do it!
We learn from a very early age that with the admission of guilt comes swift judgment and punishment.  Not wanting to suffer the consequences of our actions, we learn to deny, and ultimately lie about our involvement.  We didn’t do it.  No matter the evidence or proof of the opposite, we weren’t involved. 
This week, I saw a show on television, which highlighted the life of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.  The PPA agents walk up and down the street monitoring parking violations and issuing tickets.  I was amazed at the practically universal need of mature adults to stand bold faced and lie to the camera about how their car…which is STILL illegally parked in the street…is not breaking the law.  Further, how unjust the PPA agent is for writing them a citation.  They had done NOTHING wrong.  This caused me to think about how foolish my denials must seem to my heavenly Father.

Okay…It was me.  I did it.
It is a shocking revelation when we come to realize that our denials mean nothing to the Father.  He knows not only our sinful actions, but also the intentions of our heart…AND the very nature of sin within us.  He desires that we come clean with our sin.  1John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 
Suggesting that we have done no wrong makes no difference. We are not sinners because we sin.  We sin because the nature of sin is a part of our make up.  It’s our nature.  That’s why we need Jesus so desperately.  We have an advocate.  If we confess, he is faithful to forgive.  Let’s start the week off right and come clean.  Okay?

Lord Jesus, I confess what you already know.  I sin.  And I admit that I have sinned…by my thoughts, words and deeds.  Forgive me Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.  As King David prayed, wash me thoroughly of my iniquity, and cleanse me of all my sin.  I want to please you in all I do.  Help me.  In your name I pray, Amen.

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