OUCH! That hurts!


Ever walk with a lump in your shoe?
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It's terrible if you can't stop to get rid of it. Maybe you're on a timed hike, trying to keep up with a group, running late...
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You try to ignore it at first, hoping it might resolve itself. Many steps later, you feel the blister forming, but you keep ignoring it. Now, you're hobbling along, every step painful, but you're determined something as small as a rock or a misplaced shoe part isn't going to make you lose whatever it is you're chasing.
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If you continue wearing those shoes with the lump, eventually you'll create a callus where the blister was. Now it hardly hurts at all and you consider the problem solved. It's not solved, of course. That callus causes problems of its own and sometimes you don't ever connect the new problems with the lump that started the whole thing.
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Unconfessed sin is like that. How many times do we commit a dreadful offense against the Lord or someone else, but pride won't let us admit it? We cover it up, shy away from dealing with it, and sweep it under our mental rug, hoping the Lord will forget about it.
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Years go by. We pretend everything is fine with us spiritually, but deep down we know something rubs wrong. There's a pain we can't identify. Life isn't working like it should. We pray and nothing happens. We force ourselves through religious-looking exercises, trying to alleviate the pain, but it does no good. There's a dead spot inside that should feel better, but it only adds to the emptiness.
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If that sounds painfully familiar, I have a question for you: Looking back on your past, is there a sin in your life that you never took to the cross? It was too horrible, too gross and you turned your head away and hoped that was good enough. Or you renamed it, excused it, and wore yourself out justifying it until you felt that callus form over your spirit. It didn't work, did it.
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God offers a salve for those blistering sins. He's already paid the doctor bill to have it worked on. Relief and victory are so close, but you chose your own way to find them. After all, confessing it to God would require you to admit it was wrong and there's something inside each of us that insists on justifying what God plainly calls sin.
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We have to humble ourselves. Admit we messed up. Admit we can't fix it and ask God to do it for us. Humbling self is hard to do. That callus of pride is so tough by now it takes a pretty sharp knife to slice it off, but God has just the one for it. His Word. When we dare compare our action with God's expectation, we quiver in shame. Yep, it was sin all right.
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As a counselor, I am struck by how many problems started from that unconfessed sin way back in the past. Shame. Hardness of heart. Anger. Depression. When I ask, "Is there a sin in your past you never confessed to God?" I am always surprised that the client knows right away which sin it is.
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Such relief and peace come when they get that taken care of. The rock is no longer in the shoe. It's over. The blister can heal and the callus can come off.
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Do you have a callus on your heart? Is there a stubborn area you've been hiding from God, hoping He'd forget? He hasn't. And neither have you. Take it to him. Lay it on the altar and confess how wrong it was. He's not there to beat you up. He's there with the First Aid kit.
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Haven't you limped long enough?

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