Confessing Our Sin and Knowing our True Failure

In the Anglican liturgical service, one integral part is the confession of sin. It says:

“Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.”

When that is said, most people can instantly think of some things they did that they need to repent of. That is the easy part. The harder part are the things we have left undone. The confession prompts us with the Great Commandment: we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. That is the harder part to deal with and I believe it is the primary concern of our Lord.

At the Judgment many will say to him, believing they should be rewarded for what they did, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons vin your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt 7:21-23) They are proud of their exercise of power in his name. But Jesus is concerned with what they didn’t do. In Matthew 25:41-46, he says to them, “Then he will say to those on his left, depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

They were focused on doing powerful things. Jesus told them they should have focused on loving their neighbor as themselves and in that way they would show their love for him and have kept the Great Commandment. But they failed to do what our Lord considered important. It is a matter of the heart. They should have focused on being merciful and kind but they focused on being powerful and impressive.

Please remember that as your eternal destiny depends on it.

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