Small and Sinful

Michael Wittmer

READ : Deuteronomy 9:1-7

Know, then, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to occupy because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. (v. 6)

It has been a long time since I have heard the confession of someone devastated by their sin. Even when caught red-handed, most offenders gamely offer that “mistakes were made,” errors in judgment did occur,” and they never intended to hurt anyone. Why is it so difficult for people to come clean?

No one wants to admit that, at bottom, in the core of our hearts, we are bad people. We may be small, but we are not sinful; finite, but not fallen. This feeble cover-up may preserve a few scraps of self-respect, but it also prevents us from truly hearing the gospel. According to the Heidelberg Catechism, the first step of salvation involves confessing “how great my sin and misery are” and that “I have a natural tendency to hate God and my neighbor.” Only those who own their darkened hearts – without excuses or rationalizations – can experience deliverance.

What do you need salvation from: a reckless blunder, a rocky relationship, or lack of resources? Maybe these and more. But our deepest need – for which we will not receive aid unless we ask – is salvation from ourselves and the sin that lies within.


Father, set me free from all my sin and misery.