I have a topic that’s heavy on my heart and related to 1 John 2, but I’m not ready to address it directly. It’s not enough to speak the truth. You should speak it well. The way you deliver the truth is as important as the truth being delivered. So here are a few related thoughts.
I don’t like to be told I’m wrong. I try hard to make good choices and do the right thing. There are times I stumble into sin. Other times I pursue sin with a passion. It’s comforting to know that either way I’m forgiven. And then I read 1 John 2:4-6, “If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.”
I think God just called me a liar.
Sometimes I sin out of ignorance, not because I’m stupid, but because sometimes I simply don’t know any better. Sometimes I sin because of hasty judgements and snap decisions. I wrongly react to the bad choices of others.
But let’s be honest.
Most of the time I sin because I like it. I do what I want to do and convince myself I did it because I had to. That’s where 1 John 2 comes into play. It’s a wake up call, really, to be honest with yourself. Stop trying to call your sin something other than what it is. You may want it with all your heart. You may believe it’s the best choice for you to make. You may think that living this way defines you and that to live any other way would be a denial of who you are, your rights, your happiness and your joy. You may think people who tell you otherwise are mean, small-minded or crazy. You may believe the words of the Bible to be antiquated, irrelevant and insignificant. But no matter how many people you can find to agree with you if God says it’s sin, it’s sin. At least have the guts to admit that you’ve chosen something that displeases God, and you’re okay with that. Stop trying to put words in His mouth. Stop trying to make yourself feel better by claiming he’s okay with it.
Today, you have a choice to make. You can be honest, confess your sin and by his power become something more than you ever imagined. Or keep deceiving yourself. You can call yourself a child of God and deliberately ignore the instructions of your Father. You can convince yourself you’re okay because so many people will stand with you. God gives you that choice. Choose one way and find life today and life everlasting. Choose another – God calls you a liar.
It’s not cruel. It’s accurate. It’s not about assigning blame or passing judgement. It’s about God trying to break through the greatest deception of all – the lies we tell ourselves.
Thank you for speaking the truth and for speaking it well. Convict me of the sin in my life. I want to make right choices. I want to live in a way that pleases you. Don’t let me deceive myself into believing my sin is okay. Instead, help me confess it. Give me the strength and courage to overcome it. Transform my appetite for sin into a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Help me communicate your truth to others in ways that are clear, creative, concise and compelling. Above all let me represent you well, honor you and love and serve others as I do.
I love you, in Jesus name –