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Admitting guilt a big step toward forgiveness

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POSTED: August 7, 2012 1:00 p.m.

More and more, it seems that people are giving excuses for others or themselves when it comes to owning up to wrongdoing.

When children act up, it’s probably because they are suffering from some emotional disorder, and I just heard that some research group has come to the conclusion that one in six adults are mentally ill, which will be an excuse for adult behavior. I realize that there are individuals who have legitimate emotional or mental illnesses and need treatment and, in severe cases, may need to be institutionalized. But in many cases, the first response to bad behavior is that they must have something wrong with them and need to be tested.

I believe that with children, consistent loving discipline goes a long way in preventing a lifestyle of bad behavior. Proverbs 13 tells us that if you love your children, you will discipline them regularly.

I also know that what the Bible calls sin is at the root of the problem. The problem is that it’s hard for some individuals to admit that they are sinning. I recently heard a report on some policemen in one of our big U.S. cities who were escorting several expensive cars down the turnpike at high speeds in moderate to heavy traffic. They were disciplined heavily, but in an interview, one of their lawyers said, “We shouldn’t think that these officers are criminals” What is a criminal other than a person who commit crimes?

The Bible teaches us in 1 John 1 that in order to receive forgiveness from God, we must admit or confess that we have sinned. In other words, we must own up to what we have done and not try to hide behind a bunch of excuses.

But the good news is that with that command to confess is the promise of forgiveness and a new way of life.

 

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