I love that our walk with Christ is expressed in such a progressive manner. Walk. A word signifying movement, conditioning and effort. And I love when I hear a verse, concept or phrase I’ve heard all my life but suddenly understand anew. What a gift.
During confessionals, whether through silent intercession or common prayer, I tend to only ask forgiveness for unworthy actions. Then, after truly heeding the prayer, I realized that confession doesn’t call for us to list our wrongdoings as much as it compels us to discover what we neglect.
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed
by what we have done
and by what we have left undone
Too often we find comfort and inwardly boast about the lack of sin on our resume. We don’t have a testimony littered with drug abuse, alcoholism, prison time, infidelity, or any other dark transgression on our proverbial list of sins, so confessional is just a time to think about the agenda for the week or what we are having for lunch.
Sure, you didn’t steal any money from the store’s cash register, but did you think about giving a few dollars to the underprivileged, minority family struggling to find toys at Dollar General on Christmas eve? And did you do so without judging their citizenship or class? Perhaps the reason we leave things undone is because of the film of entitlement that sometimes covers our eyes. We aren’t responsible for situations that may or may not have led to a person’s misfortunes, but we are called to be compassionate.
Sure, you don’t use vulgar language or cause disturbances in public, but did you use your words to show mercy on that someone with whom you’re impatient? Or did you reach out to those relationships in which you’ve become complacent and remind them of their worth? Perhaps we offend with such a silence as this.
Again, we are a work in progress. Thankfully, the character of Christ is our model, and by His grace, we are reconciled to Him. What a gift. Righteousness is unattainable by man, but because of a just, loving and blemish-free sacrifice, a bit of his righteousness is imparted to us.
May we try everyday to mirror Christ, have mercy on our neighbors, sacrifice a bit of convenience and love as He taught us.
For God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us — that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor 5:21)
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.