Week 40 Learning to Admit When We Are Wrong

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 40

Scripture Readings: Proverbs 28

Key Scripture Verses: Proverbs 28: 13, 14 (NIV, Life Application Bible)

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

“Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.”

I believe that our Heavenly Father is very much a good father in that he teaches how we are to conduct ourselves and then when we don’t do what he says, which is what is in our best interest, he disciplines us. And when we can admit that we have made mistakes and we have not done what he asked us to do, and we are the recipients of his discipline, we have opportunities to learn from those mistakes. And when we learn from our mistakes, we can grow and prosper.

So, if we cannot admit our faults and our shortcomings and we cannot come to God, our Heavenly Father, with the truth, we sin against him and ourselves. If we cannot admit or confess our sins, we cannot be humbled enough to learn from them.

Our scripture verse says that when we confess and renounce our sins, God has mercy for us. He forgives us. It’s the whole reason for the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ—forgiveness, salvation, and continued life in his presence.

Because God is pure love and cannot reconcile with sin and evil, we have to be forgiven and the sins washed away, the slate made clean, in order to be in his presence and to live in his will. So he provided a way for that to happen in Jesus.

So, when we “tremble before God,” it means we “fear” him or give him the honor and respect that he deserves. To really honor God, we follow his commands. When we follow his will, He is happy, and we, in turn, are happy when he blesses us beyond our expectation because of it. It really is a win-win situation.

But, we can be so stubborn. Just like earthly fathers have to discipline their stubborn children, God has to discipline us. If we turn our heads away and refuse to listen, following our own way, we develop patterns of being away from God. And for a while, we think we like being out of his watchful eye. That’s when we start to experiment and slowly, insidiously we find ourselves out of his protection and in serious trouble. It can end badly, because we fall out of God’s will.

But, the good news is that he forgives us and is willing and eager to take us back and to love us, if we are sincere. Those of us who are “God’s smart kids,” know when we are wrong and come back to him in confession, renouncing our sins, and allow our loving Father to receive us back into his grace.

May we not stray too long or too far from our loving Father. May we be open to his call, open to his loving arms. May we learn to love him and do his will.

Our Father really does know and want what’s best for us. Really.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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