“If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
When I was in high school, I had a teacher who was enamored with Shakespeare. Throughout the year, we were required to read several of his plays. One of these plays was called, Macbeth. In this famous play, Macbeth was spurred on by his wife to murder King Duncan and seize the throne. After he committed the murder, Lady Macbeth took the blood of the King and smeared it on some sleeping guards to implicate them in the murder. Later on in the play, the plot focuses squarely on Lady Macbeth herself. Night after night she is walking in her sleep staring at her hands and pleading these famous words, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One; Two…here’s the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!” Lady Macbeth was suffering from a common illness from which there is no human cure…guilt. The cause of all guilt is sin. Sin is the wound, and guilt is the infection.
There are a lot of diets out there that boast their ability to “detoxify” the body, but the debate is whether or not they work. Our bodies have two organs, the liver and the kidneys that, if healthy, do a beautiful job of cleansing our bodies on a daily basis. Our bodies are designed so that the natural cleansing happens automatically. When we insert an unnatural toxin into our bodies like alcohol, cocaine, or nicotine, we require “detox.” Detoxification is, “the process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug while managing the symptoms of withdrawal.”
In essence, sin is the malfunctioning of our heart and conscience. It poisons the bloodstream of our soul with guilt. On our own, we are helpless to detoxify. There is only one cure and the best doctors, surgeons, psychiatrists, and medicines in the whole world do not hold the answers. The only cure for sin is forgiveness; and there is only one source of forgiveness – God.
So how do you deal with sin in your own life? There are two choices: You can run away from God; or you can run to God. If you choose to try to deny, cover up, or ignore your sin you are running away from the only source of freedom from guilt and shame. Facing up to our sin is never pleasant or easy, but if we confess the truth of what we have done to God, He will always offer forgiveness. Not only forgiveness, according to 1 John 1:9, but also cleansing from our unrighteousness. This means that confession not only detoxifies our souls, but it also restores us to a right relationship with God.
Dear Lord, I know in the past there have been times when I've chosen to run from you instead of running to you because of my sin. But I don't want to do that anymore, because I know you are a forgiving God. Help me to run to you first when I make a mistake and to see your forgiveness, knowing that it is always available to me because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. In Jesus' name, amen.