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10 Things It’s Tough to Confess (and, in Fact, to Recognize in Some Cases)

confess

We are to confess our sin to God and trust Him to forgive us (1 John 4:9). My experience as a pastor and professor, though, has shown that some sins are tougher to recognize and confess. In fact, my personal experience suggests the same. Here are some of those things:

  1. Idolatry. We know how strongly the Bible condemns idolatry, and we don’t want any part of that problem. It’s just that we still sometimes put people, things, choices, and actions above God.
  2. Ego. I’ve met very few egotistical people who admit their ego. I have met some who “brag” about their humility, however—which is just another sign of their pride. Many of us don’t quickly recognize our ego.
  3. Selfishness. The natural inclination of selfishness is to “bow up” and defend our choices—to protect our turf, to claim our “rightness” and our privilege. Whenever you put yourself on top, it’s tough to confess that issue.
  4. Lukewarmness. Few of us want to admit that we’re not as on fire for God as we once were. In fact, lukewarmness is so much the norm now that we think it’s okay.
  5. Apathy. I’m thinking particularly about our overall commitment to walk with God. Sometimes we’re just not committed to ongoing, continual, intentional spiritual growth.
  6. Greed. After all, it’s the American dream to get as much stuff as we can—and then compare what we have to what others have. We’re hard-working and blessed, we assume—not greedy.
  7. Laziness. Again, I don’t think I’ve ever met a lazy person who admitted it or who didn’t quickly run to an excuse for his or her inactivity. Other people are lazy; not us.
  8. Gluttony. We might see habitual overeating as not good for us, but we don’t always see it from a spiritual perspective. Recognizing there might be other issues involved, apparent gluttony is often idolatry.
  9. Ingratitude. We’re coming up on a week of thanksgiving, but we do that because November comes around again. Too often, we’re like the healed lepers who received God’s blessing but never returned to thank Jesus (Luke 17:12-19).
  10. Unconcern. We have neighbors, co-workers, family members, friends, classmates, etc., who don’t know Jesus. Billions have never heard His name. Our lack to attention to getting the gospel to them is a sign of our unconcern—and it’s tough to admit.

Please pray for me – and let me know how we might pray for you.

This article originally appeared here.

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Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.