Why Bother Fighting Sin When It Brings Shame?



Hey and welcome to Take 10 with Vanessa Jencks, where I share encouragement, exhortation, or rebuke in under ten minutes.

Today I want to talk about why confess sin, why battle sin, why deal with it. I think a lot of people believe if you’re confessing your sin, if you’re saying you have sin, it’s a shameful thing. It admits that you’re not perfect. Even as a Christian, it can be something that brings about way more shame than what I think is actually intended from confession.

So I think a really great passage in talking about this is 1 John, especially looking at 1 John 1:5-10 and the first part of Chapter 2. Now just a little bit of background about 1 John, John was writing to a church to exhort them that and show them that they were actually true believers. There was a group of people that left from them, and they were concerned about what these people had been saying, if they were following the way, if they were truly seeking after Christ.

So John writes these letters to them, so that they know for sure they are believers. Although we’re not looking at this text for that purpose, exegetically, I can point out practical applications from the text.

What is so awesome about these verses is that it can show you clearly what it looks like to walk with Christ and what it looks like not to walk with Christ. Some implications from that text are that God is light and there is no darkness in him.

If we are saying we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we’re lying and we’re not practicing the truth. If we’re walking in the light with him though, we’re having fellowship with other believers, so that his blood cleanses us from all sin.

But on the flip side of that, if we say we have no sin, we’re deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. And then if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And man, look at verse 10, if we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Then if you go back down to chapter 2, he says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you do not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

So, this is such a convicting passage because, essentially it’s saying, “If you’re saying that you’re a perfect person, if today you have not sinned, if in this past week you haven’t sinned, you’re a liar. You’re not practicing the truth. You’re not actually walking with Christ.”

That’s a huge slap in the face to people who think they’re believers, but they’re really not. It’s also a check, like a heart check for believers to stop and look and say, “Am I walking with Christ right now? Or am I pursuing after my own flesh in this moment? Am I truly seeking what is glorying to the Lord? Am I confessing my sin?”

Because if you’re confessing your sin, you’re being made more and more into his image and likeness. If you’re confessing your sin daily, if you’re saying, “Lord, I don’t live up to your commandment to love the Lord my God with all my heart and soul and mind, just as a default, where else am I sinning?”

David asked God to look into his heart and to show him his sin. And this man was a man after God’s own heart. God specifically chose him because of the faithfulness of his heart toward the Lord. And yet David himself says he’s not sure if he’s got sin in his heart. “Please show me if I do, I know I’m a sinner.” He humbled himself before the Lord.

See, confessing your sin doesn’t have to be shameful. If we’re looking at it from a right perspective, if we’re looking at it in the perspective that sin hinders us, it hinders us from rejoicing and loving God more, then we’re going to want to get as much of it out of us as possible. The best way to do that is to confess our sins to other believers and to our Lord, so they can hold us accountable.

There’s this moment right before the third adultery, which was the most earth-shattering for our marriage, right before it happened, I was laying awake in my bed. For context, my husband and I had just been through this sweet period, where we had been memorizing through Romans, and we were really strong spiritually. But then we got busy. I was neglecting my spiritual disciplines. We were neglecting a time of confession with each other.

I remember laying there awake, realizing I was struggling, but too afraid to share with my husband. Who knows what would have happened if I had just told him that I was struggling before I did anything? That was before I pursued after it whole-heartedly. I would have saved myself so much heartache by just confessing my sin to him.

So, I don’t ever want to be that foolish again. I don’t want to ever think I’m so strong that I don’t need to confess my sin daily. So I would exhort you sister to find someone, your husband or someone else, confess your sin to them. Walk with Christ. Walk with other believers.

That’s my prayer for you. I hope this has been exhorting and encouraging to you.

That’s my Take 10.

If you have any questions you would like to ask Bobby or Vanessa, please send a message to us via social media, comment below, or send an email to vanessa.jencks at gmail.com

Subscribe to my fighting sin newsletter here. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Related posts