Story of the Day for Friday November 18, 2011
Stoned To Death With Popcorn
He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will find mercy.
A church in our neighborhood had a dirt parking lot. One summer they paved it and it looked so much nicer. No members tromping into church through mud puddles.
But a year later, the pavement was broken up in many places. It looked awful. Know why? They paved over lots of weeds. And when they started to grow, the pavement looked like it had suffered a heavy mortar attack.
Ever since the Garden, where Adam and Eve grabbed fig leaves and decided that hiding from God was a good plan, we have been trying to cover up our sins. Maybe we like our sin far too much to let go of it. Maybe we are ashamed of it and are afraid of the consequences if we are exposed. Whatever the reason, from time to time we all get the dopey notion that we can hide things from God.
This is a just a friendly reminder: YOU CAN’T HIDE ANYTHING FROM GOD. What were you thinking!
I am a master at the art of self-deception. Here is the trick I use. I throw God some “confession scraps” and see if He goes for them. It’s really quite simple. You confess in generalities. Tell God you’re a sinner and you haven’t always been the person you should be. (The implication to God is that, yeah, I’m not perfect – but, then again, neither is anybody else.) If you confess to other people, don’t even call your behavior a sin. Tell them you made a “mistake,” or an “error in judgment.”
A Roman Catholic priest once said that hearing confession from nuns is like “being stoned to death with popcorn.” That’s what I try to do with God sometimes. Throw out the small stuff and see if it works.
Well, it doesn’t work.
This proverb is trying to teach us that hiding our sins and paving them over is a boneheaded idea. It’s like trying to deny you stole a beach ball by hiding it underwater. it’s not easy and you must exercise constant effort to keep it down there.
The second half of this proverb is crucial: if you tell God your sins – all of them, and especially the ones that hurt a lot to admit – He will show you mercy.
This is the wonder of God. Even when we know in our bones that he ought to destroy us, or at least make us suffer, He wants to give us mercy. God is merciful, but we receive His mercy when we uncover ourselves to Him. When we hide stuff, it’s like having something rotting in a dark, dank cellar. Confession is telling God what smells so bad and letting Christ clean up the mess, and open the windows to let in the fresh air.
It’s a whole lot better than lurking behind trees with a handful of fig leaves.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)