Author: Sallie Ross

We have sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly. When our fathers were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known. Psalm 106:6-8

Why is it that it is so difficult in our culture to articulate those first three words: “We have sinned”? Why is it that we want to look at the love of God without also looking at our sinfulness? To say we are sinners reflects our identity. It is a statement of fact.

If I don’t see my total and complete need for God, then His love isn’t that big of a thing. If I can get what I need elsewhere, then He is really no more than an option–one among many that I can choose, like how I feel when I am standing in the middle of the cereal aisle.

The refusal to accept our identity as sinners keeps us from the very life we seek. When I accept that fact, then I can take all that is within me that separates me from God and offer it up to Him. If I am not willing to empty myself of the things that keep me from God, then there is no room within me for receiving what He has for me.

The refusal to confess the honest condition of our hearts causes them to harden. And then it is all too easy to not remember God’s many kindnesses, because they seem to be acts in the midst of many resources. It is all too easy to give no thought to God’s miracles, which are, in fact, the very things that build hope within us.

We have sinned, and God has forgiven us. And where that realization leaves us is very close to the One who has known our heart since before time began. He calls us to lay down all of our efforts and works. We have sinned, and Jesus went to the cross–that we may come before the Father and be received as His own. There is an eternal freedom in confession; may we not stand back in pride.

–Lord God, You know my heart, You know my ways. You know where I am vulnerable before You and where I work to hide. Let me confess my condition before You–let me come in humility and awe–that You may replace this heart of stone with a heart of flesh. Lord, hear my prayer.