by Tony Nester

Making the Most of Guilt
Tony Nester
1 John 1:5-10

(1 John 1:5-10 NRSV) "This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. {6} If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; {7} but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. {8} If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. {9} If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. {10} If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

I recently witnessed a strained conversation between a grown son and his mother. This son had already broken many promises to his parents. Time and time again the parents had given money, help, and support only to find that their son had failed to keep his promises to them. On this occasion the son promised his parents to bring his girl friend to a restaurant and meet them for a nice evening dinner. It was his girl friend's birthday and the mother wanted to have an appropriate gift for the occasion.

The problem was that during the day he would call with contradictory information — the dinner was on, then it was off, then toward the end of the afternoon it was on again. The mother rushed around after her work day to do last minute shopping to find a gift for his girlfriend. Mother and day arrived at the restaurant at the proper time. The husband was angry because of the last minute rushing around — he would have preferred to have just cancelled the dinner engagement.

When the son arrived he came without his girlfriend, sat down and said, "I don't think she's coming." His father just smirked. His mother expressed her disappointment and frustration as she held the birthday gift in her hands ...

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