'The First Step to a New Start'
Tuesday, March, 20, 2018 | 2:19 PM | by Munholland
You know the expression, "Watch out! That first step is a doozy!" I have found that to be true in my life. We all experience big life transitions - college, new jobs, marriages, children - in which the first step into the new reality is a doozy. The same is true for renewal in our lives. The fact is that we cannot find forgiveness and a new direction until we confess our sins and ask for God to forgive us and lead us in his way. It is the first step of confession that we humans find to be a doozy. We don't like it. It goes against our egocentric nature. However, confession is the first step to healing.
John writes, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (I Jn 1:8-9) Do you see the sequence: admit the true situation, confess, and you will be forgiven and purified? There is no way around it. We can't say, "God I'm in good shape. I don't need your help, but how about blessing my life?" We can't expect God to answer our prayers when we are unable to humble ourselves and admit that we need God's forgiveness and help.
The first step in AA is to say, "I admit I am powerless over alcohol - that my life has become unmanageable." But don't we all need to make this same humble confession? Instead of alcohol we can fill in the blank with whatever it is that entices us into sin, damages relationships, or draws us away from God: greed, selfishness, pride, anger, lust, bitterness, vile language, wasting time, etc. "I admit that I am powerless over ____________ - that my life has become unmanageable."
If we could manage our sins ourselves, we wouldn't need to confess ongoing sinful, destructive habits. The fact is that we can't manage our frailties without God. We were never meant to live apart from God's grace, guidance and power. I encourage you in this Lenten season to make a true confession so you can experience a true resurrection in your life. The first step is a doozy, but remember that God "is faithful and just and will forgive you your sins and purify you from all unrighteousness." Telling the truth about ourselves and calling out to God is the hardest part. However, the reward is priceless: a new life lived by the power of a loving God!
Seeking Life that is Truly Life,