When you are guilty, immediately confess the sin that you’ve committed.
Leviticus 5:5, MSG*
We’re human. For all the good things that means, it also means we’re not perfect. Despite our best intentions, sometimes we mess up. We don’t live up to the righteous living God intends for us.
The early chapters of Leviticus are all about sacrifices to atone for the people’s sin, and God spends a lot of time—and detail—explaining to the people what not to do. Some of it should be pretty obvious, but there you have it.
What interests me about chapters 4 and 5 is that they deal with what happens when someone unintentionally sins. They’ve done something wrong with no malice aforethought.
We do that too. And sometimes we do the premeditated wrongs.
In either case, the remedy is clear: immediately confess it to God. He knows anyway. It’s already put a rift between us. If it’s an ongoing situation, ask for His wisdom in how to get back on target. And remember that He’s faithful to His promises. He will forgive us, clean us up, and restore us.
Immediately. Things won’t get better—won’t go away—if we stall. We’ll just make ourselves increasingly miserable as we widen the gulf between our spirits and the God who wants to hold us close.
God who saves us, Your forgiveness and grace are more than we can comprehend, and they’re beyond our capacity to earn. Thank You for extending mercy again and again. Please grow us to maturity in our faith, into righteousness and holiness, so we can please You. Please forgive us when we fail, and help us cry out to You quickly for restoration.
I love this confession song from Todd Agnew, how it reminds us that despite it all, God loves us: “The One You Want.”
*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
You raise such an excellent point. We can and need to go quickly to God and receive his forgiveness. Then we can start over, knowing we are forgiven. Thanks, Janet!
Ruth Ann, one of my unofficial mentors at church is known to advise us to “keep short accounts with God” — and it’s so true. There’s no benefit to letting the “guck” of life build up between us and God, and every benefit to being clean and close to Him. Have a blessed day, my friend!