Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, December 19, 2008

How long should you wait to confess Sin?

As soon as I sin I get disciplined, chastised by God. When God disciplines me, He takes away my joy. Why does He do that? He does so, to bring my disobedience to my attention so I will repent and confess. Let’s suppose God did not discipline me. Every time I sinned I would have more joy in the Lord.

It is true that

…where sin increased grace increased all the more (Romans 5:20).

That did not mean

…shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (Romans 6:1)


God takes away my joy so I will admit my sin in repentance, be forgiven and have restored joy. This descent continued for three years. Yes, I confessed some sins during those years, but my state was gradually down hill.

This is really a 6-step event. The first thing I do is sin, disobey. The second thing is I get disciplined. The third thing is I lose my joy. Now God takes away my joy by discipline when I sin, in order to get my attention so I will confess and repent, be forgiven and have joy again.

Well, my joy started down, not quite that steep. It probably went down gradually and then came up a little bit, then down some more. In other words, over the next three years my joy gradually went down. In the meantime, God was using me in different ways, but the joy was less.

It was in the Sea of Japan, in my stateroom on the USS Brinkley Bass (DD887) in March of 1951 that I realized what the problem was. It was 3 years of accumulated, un-confessed sin. I began to confess sin, and as I did, my joy came back up. It was great. It was just like a new birth, except this was not a new birth. When I was born again, I did not confess all of my sins. I couldn’t have possibly. I confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. When I confessed Him as Lord, my sins were forgiven. That was the new birth. After my restoration in March of 1951, I would again disobey, lose my joy and get disciplined. This time, instead of not confessing, I’d confess after I’d waited awhile…a week, 2 weeks, ten hours.

I did that for about four years—up to 1955. I realized that if Jesus Christ could forgive 20 years at one instant, as He did when I received Christ, and if He could forgive the 3 years of accumulated sin in a few hours, and if He could forgive 10 hours’ worth or two weeks’ worth, He could forgive me in one instant. I could sin, lose my joy, confess it, and be back in the joy of the Lord in a very short interval of time.

(An excerpt from How to Maintain Joy in your Life, p.6&7)


Anonymous said...

"How to Maintain Joy in your Life" - Is this a book I could read somewhere?

James I Wilson said...

I am sorry to take so long in getting back to you. Yes, "How to Maintain Joy in Your Life" is a book. We sell it here on our website: http://www.ccmbooks.org/?i=14114&mid=26
or you can read it for free here: http://www.ccmbooks.org/index.cfm?i=14114&mid=17&g=39393