I know I’m not alone when I say that I’m glad when the first week of January comes around. For numbers of us (and not just pastors), from about the third Sunday in December until the first Sunday in January, every day feels like either Saturday or Sunday! For me, through those weeks, I’m either getting ready for worship or conducting it – or so it seems. It’s really not like that, but with the number of extra services, guests, and unusual schedules, I always find that after the first Sunday of January, I have to hit my internal ‘reset’ button. Then a sense of normality returns.
In everyday life, there are times when we would like to be able to hit a ‘reset’ button, aren’t there? Maybe there are words you said that you’d like to take back. Or perhaps you did something that has left you feeling shame or guilt. Whatever hangs in your past – you can reset it!
How? Simple. It’s called “confession”.
The Bible says this: “If we confess our sins, [God] who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1.9, NRSV). No matter what may be in our past – recent or distant – if we will accept that Jesus died to save us from our sins, and confess them before God honestly and openly, he promises that he will forgive us.
That’s right: God himself will hit our internal reset button!
This is why daily confession of sin is a spiritual discipline to which each of us does well to aspire. When we confess our sins, our relationship with God is always at its best. And life is at its best.
If rhyming off your sins doesn’t come easily to you, you’re not alone. You could try writing them down, or writing out your prayer of confession in a journal. But here’s the trick. Unlike most journal entries, when you write out your confession, tear out the page when you’re done – and recycle it or burn it. Once your sins are confessed, you should throw them away, because that’s what God has done with them!
So – welcome to January, and to the return of normality. Have you hit your ‘reset’ button today? God is waiting to forgive you.