now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. [2 timothy 2:20–21]
during my undergrad at missouri baptist university i took a class called “man and sin.” it met one night per week for eight weeks. but it was a full three credit hours packed into that short time frame, which meant we met four hours each time, 6-10p i believe. the class was about exactly what it sounds like – the depravity of man, our sin, our falling short of the glory of God…our disobedience. for four hours. straight. every time i left that class i felt like i had just been beat up in a boxing ring. a left hook from my greed. then a right jab from pride. reminder after reminder of the consequences of sin and how much we fall short. it’s not easy to talk about sin for four hours in a row. but i also came to see the value of it. seeing our sin is vital to walking with Jesus. and simultaneously, walking with Jesus will cause us to see our sin more clearly.
if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [1 john 1:8]
it is possible for us to sweep everything under the rug. to turn a blind eye to the things we see, and to not go searching for the things we don’t. to not allow the light of Jesus to shine into the dark places in our hearts. but if we do that, those places will remain dark. filled with dishonorable doctrine and personal moral choices. lives and hearts built to glorify ourselves not God. in order to be cleansed from the dishonorable we must first know where to find it. just like i can’t clean a cup if i can’t see the dirt on the inside of it. it is the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance.
one of the most difficult and beautiful things you can do is to sit in the presence of God and ask him to reveal your sin to you. not because you want to feel shame or to beat yourself up over it. but because the revealing of your sin leads to the opportunity to repent and be met by the forgiveness and grace of a loving God and father. to move from our wandering back onto the path of righteousness for the sake of Jesus’ name. because of his mercy and faithfulness we can sit at his feet and pray along with the psalmist, david…
search me, o God, and know my heart! try me and know my thoughts! and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! [psalm 139:23–24]
~ keith kozlowski