Summary: Spiritual growth requires that we be honest to God with our mistakes and sins -- and to then repent!
An elderly woman walked into the local country church. A friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps.
"Where would you like to sit?" he asked.
"The front row please," she answered.
"You really don’t want to do that," the usher said. "The pastor is really boring."
"Do you happen to know who I am?" asked the woman.
"No," said the usher.
"I’m the pastor’s mother," she replied indignantly.
"Do you know who I am?" the usher asked.
"No," she said.
We all make mistakes, but none of us like to be caught making those mistakes!
Several years ago, my then-13-year-old son came home from school one day and asked me to cut his hair.
Now I know a no-win situation when I see one. I told him there was no way I was going to cut his hair. I knew the slightest problem with the hair cut would lead to him blaming me for days on end.
My son had suddenly realized he had the world’s ugliest hair cut. I could have told him that. In fact, I think I had tried to on several occasions. He looked like someone had put a bowl on top of his head and shaved the lower part of his head – think Moe from the Three Stooges. That was my son.
Now all of a sudden he wanted a military hair cut. You know the style, almost bald headed. And for some reason he wanted to save money and he wanted me to take my clippers that I occasionally use for trimming my beard, and shave his head.
Well, as I said, I know trouble when it comes knocking at the door and I refused to be involved at all. So my son took my clippers and started giving himself a hair cut.
I made him go outside in the back yard so he wouldn’t make a mess in the house and I watched him from the safety of the den.
Zzzzzzzzzz. Right down the ear line.
Zzzzzzzzzz. Moving up to the center.
Zzzzzzzzzz. Trimming around the forehead.
So far, so good.
Zzzzz – fffttttt. Suddenly there was no sound at all.
My trimmers, which were rechargeable, had died on him
He no longer looked like Moe from the Three Stooges, but more like an alien from another world. He was almost completely bald except for a clump of hair sticking out of the left side of his head.
In a panic he ran inside and asked me how long it took to recharge the clippers.
“Well son,” I said, “I usually leave it plugged up overnight.”
I had to drive him to the nearest barber for emergency attention. We went in and the barber looked at my son and said, “What in the world happened to you.”
Without a moment’s hesitation my son looked this man in the eye and said, “My Dad tried to give me a haircut.”
We all hate to admit mistakes!
And the Apostle John addresses this human quality in today’s passage when he says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
Most of us find it hard to admit that we have sinned or made any mistakes at all.
If a barber makes a mistake, he calls it a new hairstyle.
If your boss makes a mistake, it’s not his mistake — it’s your mistake.
If a driver makes a mistake, it’s probably an accident.
But if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1. Be honest with yourself.
We need honesty in our lives, which among other things means we need to be honest with ourselves.
How many of us, if a lump were felt on the breast, or a mole began to look suspicious, or we felt a pain in our chest would ignore it?
Well, actually a lot of people ignore those health signs. They do nothing about them. They deny any possibility that they could be sick.
So what happens? Often the lump grows to a cancer that cannot be treated. The chest pains stop with a fatal heart attack.
But healthy people know that the thing to do is not to deny these warning signs, but to attend to them. Address them. Be honest with yourself. Take care of your physical health.
You cannot take care of your spiritual health if you deny you have any problems.
There are things in your life that separate you from God and from one another. If we say they are not there, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
The hatred you feel for someone you see every day.
The lies you tell.
The theft of something that does not belong to you.