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The Sweatshirt

It was yard work day and it was cold outside. I was almost excited because I wear my most comfortable sweatshirt on cold yard work days. The garment has seen its share of battles. It is worn in spots. It is decorated with paint stains, grease stains and grass stains. It has recorded some of my best achievements and my silliest mistakes. I could easily make a case for upgrading to a new sweatshirt but I keep this one around for two reasons. First, it is comfortable. There is nothing worse than trying to work in uncomfortable clothes. Second, it reminds me to be honest.
If I were to tell you this sweatshirt is in perfect condition, I would be lying to you. In the dark, it is my favorite. If feels so comfortable that I could be convinced to wear it anywhere. The problem is, any place I went would have to be dark to be acceptable. If I were to try to persuade myself that I could wear this garment over to a friend’s house for a social gathering, I would be fooling myself. If I even attempted to convince my wife that this would be the perfect outfit for our next date, I would enter one of the most intense arguments of the year. She would recognize immediately that I was trying to manipulate her to believe a lie. The truth is my sweatshirt is a mess and is not fit for public consumption. Anything short of that would be a lie.
This was John’s point in 1 John 1. He is reminding us that we have an incredible privilege of knowing God in a personal manner. It is a relationship of respect, friendship, partnership, and honesty. “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (v. 5) Anytime I spend time with God, the lights go on. There is no hiding and there is no way to deny reality. It is not a thing of shame because God has welcomed us into his presence. “Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” (*v. 3) It just requires honesty for it to not be weird.
• If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie. (v. 6)
• If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves. (v. 8 )
• If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar. (v. 10)
• If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (v. 9)
• But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. (v. 7)
We are simply talking about doing what is obvious. If I showed up at your house for dinner in my old sweatshirt, you would notice immediately. You wouldn’t have to stop to think about it. You wouldn’t have to ask yourself, “If this appropriate dress for a dinner party?” You would know instantly that I was either inconsiderate or out of touch and you would say something.
I have noticed that when it comes to the areas of our lives that are incomplete or still corrupt, we try to hide from God. John is simply telling us to be honest. God already knows and He cares. He wants to help us grow through them but we can’t get started if we aren’t willing to be honest.
Jesus, give me the grace today to own up to what is already obvious to you.

One Response

  1. A simple truth, and a great reminder. Grace is awesome!

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