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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Get it right the first time

We have an adage in the United States that simply says, "Get it right the first time!"
Another similar saying that I read recently puts it this way: "Always try to say the right thing, first thing, after doing the wrong thing!" (From Cowboy Etiquette).

A man wrote the following story about the importance of getting it right or confessing when you messed up.

He wrote: "My sister prepared a pasta dish for a dinner party she was giving. In her haste, however she forgot to refrigerate the spaghetti sauce and it sat on the counter all day. She was worried that it might have spoiled, but it was too late to cook up another batch. She called the local Poison Control Center and asked them about it. They advised her to boil the sauce again just to make sure, but felt it would be OK.

That night the phone rang during dinner and a guest volunteered to answer it. My sister could have sunk beneath the table, when the guest called out, 'It's the Poison Control Center. They want to know how the spaghetti sauce turned out.'"

Trying your best to get it right, but being a strong enough person to own up to it when you get it wrong, that's some time tough to do! I've messed up plenty of times in my life, thankfully, most of the time it has been in personal matters that affect no one else. However what about the times when we mess up, when we sin, and it does affect others, how do we handle it then? What does God's word have to say about that?

First what about sin that affects others? James 5:16 tells us, "Therefore 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."

While concerning personal sin John writes in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Now here is what is important that we notice before we start applying these passages to someone else. Notice what John says in the context of 1 John 1:8-10, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.."  (NIV)

So, each and every one of us sin at some time. Simply we mess up in trying to live good or righteous lives. It's impossible for us to go though life without sinning. How do we know? Because God's Word says so!

But you see, you have a direct line to the most important poison control center, the one that monitors sin and connects us to God and his forgiveness. Rather than waiting for someone else to find out about what we have done wrong (our sin), maybe it's time for you to have a little talk with Jesus about your life. I do it often!

Russ Lawson

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