Keeping it Real

Francis Frangipane in his book Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God says that “the first step we truly take toward sanctification is to admit we are not as holy as we would like to appear.” Ok, I admit it. I want to be so much holier than I really am. I long for the day when I don’t struggle with a critical spirit, grumpiness, slander, quarrelsome – just to name a few. I long to be something I am not. Today is a day I just want to declare as, “Keeping it real day!” Why, you ask? Because James 5:16 says “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other SO THAT you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” I long for the day when I regularly lose my pride, admit when I screw up, confess it and be healed! I want to be quick to see my own sin and not quick to see others sin.
Yesterday, I was reminded of how quickly I can slip into sin of slander and gossip. In my mind, I was I defending myself, telling myself I was just giving my opinion on something. But to be honest, it was just good old-fashioned gossip – sin. I was reminded of this very book and something else that Mr. Frangipane wrote “Have you ever had a close friend but talked critically about him to someone else? The next time you were together, did you notice something almost artificial about your relationship? You were not as open nor as honest with him. Because of your sin, there was a small but measurable distance between both of you. Though you may have been ashamed of what you did, if you stayed unrepentant, you actually started to avoid the one you hurt – if not socially, at least with your eyes and heart. You may have shared a world together beforehand, but now the interpenetration of personalities, the sense of being “at home” is one another’s soul, is gone. Unless there is repentance, the distance between you will probably widen until the relationship itself is over. Although neither of you may understand why you drifted apart, the love you possessed died because you sinned and failed to repent.”
I wonder how many friendships (marriages) have been lost over this very thing – lack of admitting we were wrong and restoring the relationship?
So today, I confess to all of you that I was wrong. I sin. I screw up. Confession is good for the soul. I just feel better once the words are out of my mouth. I don’t have to pretend I have it all together. I don’t. My dad said this week, “Righteousness easily spills over into self-righteousness…Is your halo on too tight?” I need to loosen up my halo and see myself for who I am. A sinner in need of a Savior.
As Easter approaches, I am again reminded how important the cross really is to my everyday life. When I make light of my sin, I make light of the cross. My sin is real, his death is real and, thank goodness, his resurrection is real. I don’t want to take lightly the sacrifice He made for me by denying in myself the sin that put Him on that cross.

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