Larry Ray Hafley
One remarkable fact adorns all true, sincere confessions of sin recorded in the Bible. It is peculiar to each person who genuinely sought forgiveness. What is this singular feature? No excuses for sin were offered!
The "one talent man" tried to justify himself (Matt. 25:25). He was not forgiven. The prodigal son of Luke 15 did not attempt to blame others for his failure. He did not appeal to mitigating circumstances. He was received and forgiven. Saul sought to blame "the people" (1 Sam. 15:15). He was refused and "rejected". David did not seek to blame Bathsheba for carelessly exposing herself to him. Rather, he said, "I have sinned against the Lord" (2 Sam. 12:13). He was restored. Adam blamed "the woman thou gavest to be with me" (Gen. 3:12). He was driven from the garden. The publican said, "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Lk. 18:13). He was "exalted" and "justified" in the sight of the Lord (Lk. 18:14).
While there may be contributing factors to our sins, that is not the point. The fact is that we have sinned. All our "reasons" which explain why we did what we did are to no avail. As transgressors, we stand condemned, regardless of the causes. Consider the prophet who was deceived in 1 Kings 13. Surely, we sympathize with him, but if he had obeyed God, if he had done what God told him to do, he would never have come to ruin. Though our sins may be inadvertent and though they may be caused by unforeseen factors, the bottom line is that we have sinned, and we need to be forgiven.
At such a time, let there be no excuses. Let there be no finger pointing at another--"it’s all his fault; if it were not for him, I would not have...." Forget it. What is done is done. Now, I must simply come in humble boldness and say, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." "Against thee, and thee only have I sinned, and done this great evil in thy sight."
Where is this lesson more needed than in the home? In every relationship of life, peace and happiness come more richly to those who can say, without excuse, "I have sinned. Please forgive me." Having done that, you may rest in confidence of God’s favor and fellowship (1 Jn. 1:9).