Read: 1 John 1:5–10

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

There are Christians who want to believe they are good people. They would prefer not to hear about our bondage to sin. They feel that talk about sin brings people down and turns our faith into an oppressive and depressing belief system. They would prefer that we hold up our good works as evidence of our intrinsic value and spiritual wellness.

There is no question that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do good works in accordance with our faith. We do have within us a divine spark that prompts us to seek God and attempt to model our lives after Jesus. But sin is always close at hand, and behavior that serves to separate us from the will and ways of God is a constant temptation. There are an infinite number of thoughts and actions in our lives that we would prefer to keep secret, because exposing them to others would reveal the depth of our imperfection. This inherent sinfulness, which is as much a part of us as our uncharitable thoughts and deeds, is not a cause for depression, it is rather a call to confession and forgiveness. When we recognize and embrace the fact that we are sinful creatures, that is when we can finally confess our faults and receive the forgiveness for which we deeply long. That is the truth.

Why do you struggle to understand yourself as a sinner?

Lord, if I am to be completely honest, while I don’t like being tagged a sinner, I know that is exactly what I am. If my secret thoughts and actions were somehow brought out into the light for all to see, I would be revealed for the fraud that I am. I like to think of myself as good, but that is not the truth. I am a sinner, and I am grateful that You are a Savior! In Your name, I pray. AMEN.