I remember when the phrase “keepin’ it real” was popular. Who knows, it may still be popular but I’m obviously reaching the age (38) where adolescent lingo is beginning to escape me. Regardless, I like that phrase and its implication that we should be transparent, holding nothing back when dealing with others. All of this leads me to ask why do we lie about who we really are? What are we afraid of? Are we afraid that someone else may find out about that dark sin that only God and I know? We need to get real and be honest with each other and God, especially if we, as Christians, have any hope of having an effect on the world around us.
It’s seems relatively simple to confess sin but it is actually hard because we’re so used to lying to ourselves and others. We’re used to justifying our behavior due to circumstances beyond our control or we’re used to making our sins sound better than they really are, especially when we pray. Don’t you hate it when people lie or make excuses to you? Isn’t it nice when someone has an honest admission of guilt and is genuinely sorry? I must ask then… why lie to God? He already knows what we have done. He is already aware of our secret thought lives, the real me and you. What God is really looking for is our confession, our ability and willingness to let go and not continue to hang on to the lies that we tell to make ourselves look good.
In Psalms 51 we see a great example of keepin’ it real when David, without excuse, confesses to God and begs for mercy. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalms 51:1-12).
David openly admits his sin. He asks for forgiveness and most importantly, he appeals to God’s unfailing love. Shouldn’t we do the same? Shouldn’t we get real with God, trusting in his love and promise to forgive us? We should not only be transparent to our God but also to each other. James 5:16 reads, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” We are to get real with each other as well, allowing other brothers and sisters in Christ to know our struggles and get help from them in our walk with Jesus. When we do so, we are set free. Free from the bondage of sin and guilt and able to worship God with a pure and righteous heart.