James Moore wrote a book with an awesome title: “Yes Lord, I Have Sinned . . . But I Have Several Excellent Excuses.” I think it’s perfect for this generation. Truth is, it’s perfect for every generation. Trying to dodge our guilt is as old as mankind. Literally. Consider Adam and Eve’s words to God after they ate the forbidden fruit: “The serpent tempted me . . .” “The woman you put here with me . . .” (Gen. 3:12, 13). “Yes Lord, I ate the fruit, but . . .”
They say confession is good for the soul and if you’ve ever carried the weight of guilt around on your shoulders, you will know that it’s true. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When we come before God with reasons why we’re not at fault, we’re really not confessing. Confession is acknowledging our sinful actions and agreeing that we have broken God’s law. It’s not trying to throw the blame off of ourselves or making up excuses for our behavior. Real confession is taking personal responsibility for our actions, no matter who is involved or what the circumstances were.
The word confess also means to “tell plainly.” That means no spinning stories of how or why it happened. No trying to justify it or explain it away. As if we could. After David’s affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband to try to cover it up, the profit Nathan called the king out for his actions (see 2 Sam 11-12). David made no excuses but said, “I have sinned against the Lord”. When he admitted his sin Nathan said, “The Lord has taken away your sin” (12:13). Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of confession and repentance.
Whatever your sin, God is ready and willing to forgive you and cleanse you with the blood of His Son. You don’t need to make excuses or shift the blame. Just tell Him the plain and simple truth: “God, I have sinned.” And remember that God forgives sin, not excuses. Beloved, just tell the Lord what you’ve done. And He’ll tell you that you’re forgiven.