Daniel Boone was once asked if he had ever been lost. His reply? “No, but I was once bewildered for three whole days.”
Like Boone, most of us are reluctant to admit our mistakes. We offer semantic substitutions. We insist on changing the subject. We make frantic attempts to obviate the obvious. We rationalize, we trivialize and we soliloquize, hoping against hope to seem less unseemly.
Yes, we will go to nearly any lengths to avoid admitting one of life’s more undeniable truths: we are far from perfect.
The problem is by no means a new one. Consider the world’s first couple. Though both were clearly guilty, Adam and Eve each attempted to shift blame in the “forbidden fruit” scandal, Adam blaming Eve and Eve blaming the serpent. (Genesis 3:12,13.)
Their son, Cain, was no better in taking responsibility for his wrong-doing. After murdering his brother and then being asked by the Lord, “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain retorted, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9.)
Too many of us suffer a similar malady, more interested in making excuses than making confession, even to our own harm.
Wouldn’t we do better to follow the Bible’s teaching? “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another.” (James 5:16.) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8,9.)
Confession may not be easy but it is right, and thus best, if we ever hope to truly move past the past.