If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1, verse 10.
On the surface, this seems like a repeat of verse 8, which says “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Read closer, though, and you’ll see that’s not fully true. Verse 10 is also about transferring.
In a way, transferring is a key theme in the New Testament, namely God transferring our sin-guilt to Himself and taking it away. That can’t happen, though, if we don’t submit to Him. We need to recognize we’re chock full of sin, and that we can’t save ourselves from the consequences of it. If we keep on believing we’re guiltless when, in fact, we’re guilty, then we aren’t submitting. Worse, if we really think we’re not guilty while wallowing in our wrongs, yet say we believe in Christ, then we’re wrongly transferring our sin to Christ, thinking Him to be a sinner. We’re mocking Him. He said and proved He was without sin, yet it’s like we’re transferring our dysfunction to Him. “I’m screwed up therefore you must be screwed up too.”
How screwed up is that?
And yet we do it all the time. In politics, when one side accuses another, it’s a good bet that there’s hypocritical transferring going on, that the accusing side is guilty of what it’s accusing. I see it in my teenagers, when they try to pin their indiscretions on me, saying “when you were a kid you did this too,” as if I’m to blame for what they did. And I see it all the time in my own actions, transferring my shame and guilt to God without addressing why I felt ashamed or guilty, without truly giving them over to Him in submission, confession and repentance.
When we do this, we’re pitting ourselves against everything Christ lived and died for. There’s a right way to transfer and a wrong way, too.
God doesn’t want us to live as lowly roaches. Instead, He craves for us to really, truly transfer all our sins to Him and then let them go forever. He wants us to share in His ultimate, powerful, truly loving glory. That can’t happen when we let ourselves be continually tainted with the crap we’ve done. It can’t happen when we try to make Him out to be a liar. He knows the spiritual power of giving all we are over to Him because it is His power. He knows the psychological release that comes from confession and realization. And He knows the physical impact of being freed.
Are you tired of being screwed up? I am. I’m really tired of not truly transferring. Let’s do better.
Dear Lord, forgive my wrongs and take them, and me, from me. Help me to transfer everything to you, then lead me where You will.