My husband, who is a retired minister, use to be asked if such and such was sinful, and he often counseled that if you have to question it, it may not be beneficial. Also, what we don’t do, we never have to confess as sin later…nor live with the consequences of that sin. Proverbs gives us another word of advice:
“By mercy and love, truth and fidelity [to God and man, not by sacrificial offerings] iniquity is purged out of the heart, and by reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord men depart from and avoid evil.” Proverbs 16:6 Amplified
So how does this passage tell us we rid ourselves of the iniquity in our hearts? How do we depart from evil and avoid it?
When we show mercy, have love, are honest and completely sold out to God, then there is no room for iniquity in our hearts. By mercy we render to others undeserved forgiveness. By love we endure all things. By truth we harbor no guile or deceit. By fidelity we are abandoned to God and that carries over into our relationships with man. And then there is no space for iniquity to dwell within our hearts–it is purged out.
Reverence for God comes from recognizing His dominion over us and yielding ourselves to Him. Worshipful fear of the Lord is living in perpetual awe of His sovereign control and power to send either hurricane winds of force or gentle breezes of comfort. It is recognizing that God is God and I am not. His wisdom surpasses my knowledge. His ways are better than my ways. And when I surrender my will to His will, not only will I depart from evil but I can and will avoid it altogether.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
After we confess our sin, Jesus is faithful to His word. We are cleansed. In Him we have complete righteousness. When I consider these things, I realize how much farther I need to go to purge out iniquity and depart from evil on a daily basis…the distance is as near as my mind’s thought that Jesus has cleansed me from all unrighteousness. It’s my responisbility to walk in the light, as salt. Filling my mind, heart, body and soul with that which is merciful, loving, truthful, and pure, further affirms that iniquity is purged . Each day is another day to do good, to love others, to keep my mind stayed on Jesus, to receive God’s mercies and grace. I have hidden His Word in my heart that I may not sin against Him. His promise keeps me safe, His sacrifice set me apart from the sin that tempts my flesh.
May you hide some word in your heart today. May God fill you to the brim and overflowing with His strength to overcome–to be merciful and kind and loving and truthful. May you resist the devil and his deceitful ways which seek to destroy you. May God deliver you from temptation.