If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:8-9
I was talking with a friend and colleague of mine about his sermon this past Sunday. After the usual stumbling back and forth conversation, only to realize we are thinking exactly the same way in believing that it is the Holy Spirit, through God's Word, where the fundamental work of change happens. Yet, what is the role of the person in all this? When I think of myself, I think: COURAGE.
Courage to listen, take notice, and reflect….
Courage to look in the mirror and be honest about my hyprocracy, my pride, my self-indulgent need to "fix" what is problematic external to myself…..
Courage to admit my sin – those dark, ugly tendencies and urges that I'd just rather pretend don't exist….
Courage to admit where I am complicit and where I am in complete denial and avoidance altogether…..
Courage to really look in the mirror at the image staring back at me, stop deceiving myself and be honest.
For me, it is only when I exhibit this kind of courage do I ever properly hear God's Word as gospel, and thus the Holy Spirit is able to work in me.
Perhaps it is the same for you as well.
Lord, give us this courage daily so that we might be changed, and that we might be an instrument of your change in the world.