Saturday Sermon: All have sinned, come short of glory of God
A television celebrity cook was recently fired for confessing a truth on her program. She admitted she had committed a wrong years ago that many Southern and Northern people have also committed. She had used a derogatory word that was commonly used most of the last century, even if it was wrong.
I never cease to be amazed at the self-righteousness of people, including large TV company heads who prefer to pretend to do no wrong. They act like they live in a society with no flaws. Many people act like the Pharisees of Jesus' day. Real first-class Holy Joes. They were the only people who angered Jesus.
I started coaching kids baseball one year after integration of Victoria Public Schools. Children on my team had no problem accepting others with darker skin.
The only bigotry was put there by a society of adults who had been raised in a different culture. The culture of our society was wrong. It's very difficult to admit something we have grown accustomed to is wrong.
Most of society, Christians included, pretend we've never done things wrong. We criticize those who openly commit sin, then hide our sins in the closet. No one has ever corrected a flaw if they don't admit it.
The best way to grow is to confess our wrongs, then move forward at that point. It sounds like TV executives would prefer their people to get bigger closets.
When the Prophet Nathan confronted King David - "a man after God's own heart" - David realized one of the most profound truths about himself. He was a sinner.
"For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me." He recognized the first step to a good relationship with God was a full confession of his sins. He then asked for forgiveness so he could enjoy a full relationship with God.
Some Christians like to say, "But I'm a Christian, and my sin is taken care of by Jesus Christ." Even for the Christian, sin remains a problem that needs to be dealt with regularly in order to maintain a spiritually sound relationship with God.
The first step is being willing to confess. We Christians sin a lot more than we like to admit. Show me a Christian who does not confess his sins regularly, and I'll show you a man with a bad spiritual problem.
In Psalm 32, David responds to God's forgiveness. He says, "How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." This is true thanksgiving.
We will always see self-righteous people like these in the TV networks, but we need to realize that we, as followers of Christ, need to maintain our own spiritual health with worship and practice in our lives, so that we don't slip back into our sinful ways.
God never leaves a relationship; instead, man strays from God. If you lack peace and joy in your life, get on your knees and confess. God is always ready to solve problems.
Only He can cure spiritual illness. Only when the true depth of the sin is realized do we experience the true extent of God's loving grace. If we ask, He will forgive.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, to forgive our sins and free us from all unrighteousness," 1 John 1:9.
Charles Placker is a licensed minister who writes for the Victoria Advocate.