Bible Reading: Genesis 4:1-12
People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy. Proverbs 28:13
BRAD WAS SUPPOSED to be baby-sitting his little sister, but he had gotten so involved in the television show he was watching that he forgot all about Sissy. When the show ended, he went to look for her. He found her alone in the kitchen, where she had colored one of the walls with crayons!
“Oh no!” he cried, grabbing the crayons out of Sissy’s hand. “Mom and Dad are going to kill us both!”
“I’m sorry,” Sissy said. Her lower lip shot forward in a pout.
“Don’t cry, Sissy,” Brad said. “Brad’s going to make it better.” He gathered together Sissy’s crayons and put them away. When he returned to the kitchen, he carried a paint can and brush. “We’re going to fix Sissy’s mistake,” he told his sister. “Mom and Dad won’t even know what you did.”
He spread newspapers on the floor and started brushing the paint carefully over the crayon marks. The more he worked, though, the worse everything looked. He could still see the crayon marks through the paint. Not only that, the new paint looked darker than the old coat.
“It’ll look better when it dries,” he told Sissy. But he knew it wouldn’t. He stooped over to put the lid back on the paint can and upset the can, spilling paint all over the floor. The newspapers soaked up some of the paint, but even after he had wiped up his mess, paint still showed in the cracks between the floor tiles. By the time his parents got home, the kitchen looked even worse than when he had started—and he was in even bigger trouble than he would have been had he just left Sissy’s crayon marks alone!
Have you ever made a mistake or a wrong choice and then tried to cover it up instead of just admitting it and asking for forgiveness? If you have, you’re not alone. That’s what Adam and Eve did after they ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden: They tried to hide from God. That’s what Cain did after he had killed his brother Abel. When God asked, “Where is your brother?” Cain replied, “I don’t know. . . . Am I supposed to keep track of him wherever he goes?”
But trying to hide or deny their sins didn’t work for Adam and Eve and Cain. And it won’t work for us, either. When you make a wrong choice, it’s much better to admit it and ask forgiveness than to try and cover it up. Don’t try to hide it. Don’t try to deny it. Don’t try to explain it. Just confess it and determine to do better the next time.
REFLECT: How do you usually react when you make a wrong choice? Do you think it’s better to admit wrong choices than to try and deny them or cover them up? If not, why not? If so, why?
PRAY: “Lord, you know that sometimes it’s hard to admit it when I make a wrong choice. Please help me, from now on, to quickly ‘confess and forsake’ my sins instead of trying to cover them up.”