The Wrong Sin

It is a sin to repent of the wrong sin.

There are many sins, God hates them all, Jesus died to save men from them all, and if we got serious, we’d probably find more that we could confess. But even though confession is mostly like trying to hit the broad side of a barn with a rock from three feet away, meaning that you’d think we could try out confession a lot of sins before we missed the mark, some repentance requires repentance.

If you confess as sin something you have not done, you have sinned by lying. If you confess as sin something God hasn’t called sin, you lie about Him and His standard. If you confess as sin something someone else has done, you have sinned by not only lying, but by being a judge.

Men sin. The only reason God hasn’t destroyed our world with another flood is because He promised He wouldn’t. We are drowning in sin as a nation, and of course there is a lot to confess.

Even those who aren’t Christians have some pang of guilt they wish to be rid of. In these days, there is a sin that is popular to confess, and many who are guilty of almost anything else are grabbing fistfuls of rocks to throw, just not at the barn.

Consider these observations from C.S. Lewis in his article, “The Dangers of National Repentance”:

men fail so often to repent their real sins that the occasional repentance of an imaginary sin might appear almost desirable.

And then the kicker:

The first and fatal charm of national repentance is, therefore, the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing–but, first, of denouncing–the conduct of others.

Because we are connected, as families, as a church body, and even as citizens of this nation, we can confess corporate sins. But we must not confess the ones that indulge our passions rather than kill them.

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