Don’t Sweep it Under the Rug

Ever had this experience before?  You see someone walking along the sidewalk and suddenly they turn their ankle over or stumble.  What is their first impulse? Almost guaranteed, it is to look around and see if anyone saw them.  Or, if they know people are around, they will look back sheepishly at the imaginary stumbling block and try to play it off as casually as possible.  Even if they are hurt, they will do their best to walk normally and cover it up.

When a child gets in trouble for something, their first impulse is to do anything to deflect the blame.  It’s a knee jerk reaction, even if it doesn’t make sense.  In truth, kids say the darndest things!

When we perform a good deed, human nature dictates that we advertise it, display it, draw attention to it, at least hint at it, hoping to collect on the emotional credit of it then and there.  But when we do something dishonest, evil or stupid, we hide it, deny it, minimize it.

It’s true that when it comes to sin, humans have an amazing capacity to rationalize and bury things under the proverbial rug.  We will deflect, blame, minimize, ignore and compare ourselves to others (“Well, at least I’m not that bad…”) to soothe our consciences.   Often, we kid ourselves in order to absolve ourselves.  And you can by like this for a time.

Do you also get the sneaking suspicion that the reason the tabloid culture is so rampant in our day is because looking at the train wrecks that happen in the lives of the Rich & Famous actually make people feel a little better about themselves?

But at the end of the day, unconfessed sin is a heavy burden to carry.  Guilt saps us of joy and peace.  You can keep it buried under the rug only for so long.  And there are some people who would rather go to the grave than admit they were wrong.

On the other side, God has made provision for every one of us to be freed from the burden of sin through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.  When we confess and renounce (give up and turn away from) our sins we find mercy.

But not only do we find mercy at the feet of a loving Father.  We find peace and joy.  To be able to stand straight-shouldered, freed from the crushing burden of guilt and sin, we can walk in integrity.  There is no better medicine for the soul than to drink deeply from the fountain of God’s grace, made possible by our Great Saviour – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Photo attribution: Karpov