I am struck by how infrequently the Church confesses its sins. I am talking to myself here, too.
It is easy to confess pride, selfishness, laziness, because these are the kind of sins that make everyone else nod and say, “Me too.” We are not going out on a limb confessing these things.
But how often do we confess gossip and jealousy, anxiety and ungratefulness? How often do we confess our sins of bad language, bad thoughts, bad desires? Too often, our hypocrisy goes unrecognized, our judging ways get overlooked with the words, “Well, it’s true!”, and our dirty earthliness gets dismissed with claims that we’re just trying to engage the world.
It may be true that all our sins come back to pride, to self-worship, but if we label it that and end it there, we do ourselves an enormous disservice. We think we are only zooming out. We think we are only killing all the sin birds with one repentance stone. But we neglect little half-way sins at our own peril.
Because there are no little half-way sins.
If we only confess our “pride,” “lust,” and “selfishness,” we must begin to wonder if we are really repenting of all our sins. Thinking through confession is hard, but it is fruit-bearing.
We repent because God asks us to, because we must, and because it is for our own good. And we need to do it more.
If we never admit we were wrong, we can never become right.
We need not live in a sea of guilt, with a constancy of shame, but we should live — we must live — with a recognition of our own depravity apart from grace.
To live better, repent more.