Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ashes to Ashes.

Today is a day of repentance in many forms of the Christian faith. While my Baptist upbringing doesn't include a formal celebration of this solemn event, I always feel compelled to commemorate it.

Today, I repent.

Father, I repent of my anger. My short temper, my impatience. I repent of seeing other people as distractions, obstacles, and bit players in my movie. I repent of my harsh words, coarse language, cutting sarcasm. I repent of my occasional violent imaginings, when I daydream about punches thrown and brutality inflicted in the name of "justice" or "getting even." I repent of hating my brother, and killing him in my heart. I repent of cursing my enemies, those whose faces I don't know and those who I do.

These are sins. Father forgive me for my sins, in Jesus' name.

Father, I repent of my pride. I repent of being arrogant about my intellect, my talents, my ability to move people with words. I repent of not being more willing to associate with those of "low" position, knowing that You are a friend to the lowly. I repent any attempt to make myself and my name greater than the name of Jesus. I repent of seeing my life as "my" life, and not as the life you have given me so that I may worship You and give you honor.

These are sins. Father forgive me for my sins, in Jesus' name.

Father, I repent of my greed. I repent of being greedy for material possessions, even if my greed isn't for the newest and best, but simply for more than I can enjoy. I repent of spending too much money on entertainment, as if my income were mine alone. I repent of living outside of my means, and not being faithful in the last few months to bring the whole tithe to your storehouse. This lack of faith was born out of my undisciplined spending, and I'm sorry.

These are sins. Father forgive me for my sins, in Jesus' name.

Father, I repent of my gluttony. The fruit of this sin is most apparent. I haven't stewarded my body in the way you have commanded. Instead of making it my slave, I have become its slave, and too much of my efforts and resources go to feed it. Further, I repent of my gluttony in other areas: the lack of self-control that makes good things destructive to me. I repent of spending so much time on myself and my own amusement that other things go to the wayside. I repent of living an often-disordered life.

These are sins. Father, forgive me for my sins, in Jesus' name.

Father, I repent of my slothfulness. The brother-sin to gluttony, a cousin to greed. Father, I am lazy. I don't rule my household well, I don't care for the things you have entrusted to me, and I give in to the temptation to give less than my best at my job. I put things off, and sometimes let other people take care of projects and responsibilities that are rightly mine. When the time comes to work, I'd rather fold my hands to rest, and risk the poverty that comes on the sluggard like a thief.

These are sins. Father, forgive me for my sins, in Jesus' name.

Father, I repent of my lust. My wandering eyes, my wayward heart. The sins of mind and flesh. I've lost sight of my first love, and gone after other, lesser lovers. I've forgotten that Jesus was a 33-year-old single man who lived a celibate, sinless lifestyle. It's His example I follow in this season of my life. I repent of my mental adultery, my rebellion, my disregard of the Spirit's warning voice as I sometimes seek to walk in the flesh rather than in the Spirit.

These are sins. Father, forgive me for my sins, in Jesus' name.

Father, I repent of my envy. I repent the jealousy I feel toward those who have better jobs, who have wives, children, success, good looks, and all the other good things I desire but don't have the patience or faith to wait for, the willingness or determination to work toward, or the peace to release to Your Will. I repent the ill feelings I catch myself having toward those who appear more "together" or "blessed" than I do. I repent my sometime unwillingness to rejoice with those who rejoice. I repent my self-pity.

These are sins. Father, forgive me for my sins, in Jesus' name.

For all these things and many more, gracious Father, I repent.

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And then I rejoice in the freedom you give me, in Jesus' name, by Jesus' blood, for Jesus' glory.

When I confess my sins, you are faithful and just to forgive me my sins, to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.

Jesus became sin for me, so that I could become the righteousness of God.

Almighty God, by your great mercy, you cast my sins away as far as the east is from the west, and remember them no more.

I am one who the Son has set free. I am free indeed.

Praise Jesus. Praise Lord Jesus.

3 comments:

LeLe said...

Wow. Thanks for the conviction and transparency. May we all strive for repentance.

Dave said...

Suddenly, I start questioning whether i should have posted this. There's almost a hint of pride--look how repentant I am.

That was not my conscious intention, folks. I promise you.

But there is certainly a threshold where "transparency" becomes "attention-seeking." Something to be wary of.

Manders said...

Amen and amen, brother.