The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? – Jeremiah 17:9
Jeremiah reminds us in the above passage that the human heart is capable of terrible things. So much so that we really can’t imagine how deep the sin and rebellion go. Sin is a part of the human condition and is rooted deep in each of our hearts. One of the tricky things about sin is that it thrives in darkness. When we fail to acknowledge it, confess it, and bring it out in the open it will flourish.
Sin will flourish in our lives when we ignore that it is a problem for us. If we neglect to deal with the sin in our lives and let it fester it will grow and reproduce until it consumes us. Instead of focusing on our own areas of need, it is much easier to look at others and see the sin that needs to be corrected in their own lives. That’s in part why Jesus reminds us to take the plank out of our own eye.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5
It's all too easy to focus on the sins of others so that we don’t have to look all that deeply at our own sins. That kind of coping mechanism is simply a distraction from facing the evil that is in our hearts. We need to see the sin in our own lives as serious business and understand the capacity in our hearts for sin. When we are ready to deal with the rebellion and corruption in our own hearts there are two things that can help us bring what is hidden in our hearts to light so that we can kill the sin in our lives.
Ask God To Show You What Is In Your Heart
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. – Psalm 139:23-24
Ask God to bring what sin is hidden in your heart to your attention and then to help you walk the path of faithfulness and obedience. When you pray this prayer, God will be faithful to show you the hidden depths of your heart and will give you the strength to walk faithfully in the path of everlasting life. If you want to deal with the sin in your life, you have to know what is really in your heart. God will show you and will give you the strength to do what is right moving forward.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Confession is good for the soul. When God shows you the sin in your heart, then the next step is confession. We need to confess our sins to God. Confession to God allows God to forgive us for the wrongs we have done against him and others and then he cleanses us from our sin.
We also need to remember that God would also have us confess sins to others as we see in James 5:16. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
This is can be hard for us because we are afraid of how others might respond to our wrongdoing. It is important that we find people in our lives that we trust and with whom we can confess our sins so that they will be brought to light and so that they can help us when we stumble. Accountability can be a powerful tool in our fight against sin and should be considered a priority for us.
If you want to overcome the sin in your life, bring what is hidden to light. Do not let sin grow in the dark place of your heart until it consumes you. Don’t even give it a foothold to cling to. You can help remove sin's power in your life by shining a light on it, confessing it to God and others, and by allowing God to forgive you, cleanse you, and give you the strength to walk in faithfulness.