Particular Sins, Particularly

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XV, 5: “Men ought not to content themselves with general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavor to repent his particular sins, particularly.”

Confession of sin begins with the sin that is in you. Confession of sin begins when you take a plain account of your own life.

There is a saying, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” This is true in business, marketing, and sales, but it is also true of spiritual things.

How do you know what sins need to be confessed unless you are actively identifying and measuring where the sin is in your own life? (See Romans 7:7. It should go without saying that the Spirit of God instrumentally uses the Word of God to reveal/identify sin(s) that need to be confessed.)

The tragedy is that oftentimes we are too lazy to take a plain account of our sin(s). That type of laziness is  a serious problem. How can you “set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2), if you are too lazy to know what earthy things (sins) have hi-jacked your affections? Oftentimes we don’t confess sins because we’re just too plumb lazy.

The Devil, methinks, rejoices over this type of laziness. Why do I think that? Well, because oftentimes if we lazily handle our own life it is because we are too busy attempting to handle the lives of other folks, e.g., we spend our time pointing out how other folks have this or that “sin” issue that they need to attend to–“Brother! Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye!”

Sin is the alphabet soup that fallen man swims in. What we need is some wisdom by riffing on a cliche saying: “If you are endeavoring to repent, then mind your own sinful P’s and Q’s” (see Matthew 7:1-5).

Confession of sin begins with the sin that is in you. Take an honest, plain account of your spiritual life. That is what it means to repent of “particular sins, particularly.”

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