Hidden Sins

October 28, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

It is amazing how reading in a different version helps me to see words that I have quickly passed over before.  Reading this week in Psalm 19 and as I read verses 12-13 in the New Living version, my eye was rooted on these words:

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart

Cleanse me from these hidden faults

Keep me from deliberate sins

Don’t let them control me.

Then I will be free of guilt

And innocent of great sin

Verse 14 is one that I have memorized before and that is the positive contrast to the above verses (“May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”) It seems to me that in order for verse 14 to take place, I need to be willing to pray verses 12 and 13!   But, how do I discover hidden sins and avoid deliberate sins?

I know the Psalmist asks to be cleansed from these hidden sins, “lurking in my heart,”–what a word picture!  Don’t I first need to recognize my hidden sins (along with a corresponding confession that they are wrong and a desire that I want to change) before they can be cleansed?  And if they are hidden, how can I see them–are they not blind spots?  I think included in verse 12 is a request that the Lord help us to see these hidden sins–Psalm 139:23-24 is but one example of this kind of prayer.

But what role does community have in helping me to see my hidden sins?

Is there not a class of hidden sins that are obvious to others but I fail to see them.  Hmmm, and the other class of hidden sins are those that no one (I think) knows about because I have deliberately hidden them!  Interesting!!  I need to beware lest these hidden (deliberate) sins begin to control me like secret addictions.  For this second class of hidden sins, I still need community, not to show me my sin but to hear my confession (James 5:16)

What we need according to John Vawter are “circuit breakers, “people whom God uses to break the flow of destructive behavior in our lives. . . We need people who love us enough to point out our shortcomings, inconsistencies, and sins so that the image of Chirst isn’t obscured.” (Uncommon Graces 156)  More on circuit breakers tomorrow–got to go!  Comments, reactions?

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