Following a summer storm, a mischievous little boy raced outside and proceeded to splash the water out of every mudhole he could find. By the time he was finished the mudholes were all dry and he was covered in mud from head to toe. Then he went back inside the house. He had taken just a few steps inside the back door when his father intercepted him and said, “Stop right where you are, take off those dirty shoes and clothes, and go take a bath.” The boy tried to protest but the father was having none of it. He ended all discussion with the words, “Son, you are welcome in this house but your mud isn’t.”
I’ve been a pastor for nineteen years now. During that time I’ve met a lot of people who would willingly admit their sins and even express shame and regret over them. Sadly, however, the percentage of those people who would actually repent of those sins was relatively small. Like that little boy in that story, a lot of folks want to play in the mud without consequence. But like that father in that story, God doesn’t allow it.
You say, “But I’m a Christian and I am eternally forgiven.” Okay, I understand that, but do you understand that sin for which you haven’t confessed and repented will seriously hinder the fellowship you enjoy with God? You see, the relationship will still be there, but there is a difference between having an eternal relationship with God and being in daily fellowship with Him.
And so, Christian, here’s a good question to ask yourself: “Do I have any mud on me right now?” If the answer is “Yes” consider this post as God’s call for you to repent. Of course, unlike that boy in the story, you can’t be made clean by a bath and a change of clothes. Instead your forgiveness and cleansing can only be found in Jesus. As 1 John 1:8-9 says:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I, for one, am very grateful those words are still in the Bible, and I don’t mind admitting that I’ve claimed them and heeded them many times in my walk with Christ. Perhaps, Christian, that’s what you need to do as soon as you finish reading this. I’m not trying to put you on a guilt trip over things you haven’t done, but I don’t believe the Lord would have led me to write on this today unless one of His children who reads it has some mud on them. So if that’s you, stop what you are doing right now and employ 1 John 1:8-9 in your life. And remember that even though John doesn’t specifically mention the word “repent” in those verses, as the old saying goes, “Confession without repentance isn’t much more than bragging.”