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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 11, 2017

Admitting our "fouls"

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

How quickly do you recognize that you made a mistake? And what is your mental state of mind when you admit it?

I heard about a group of professional men who had all played basketball on their high school team during their school days. They weren't pro caliber players, but a few years after their school days were over they wanted to continue playing. So met to play a game on those days when they had an extended lunch break. There was something unusual about their games: there wasn't any referee to officiate the game. Instead, since the players all knew the rules of the game, they used an honor system that required them to call their own fouls. They had made a resolution that the game should be as fair and pleasant as possible. Now they didn't like to lose, either, and there weren't any cheap victories. But they all agreed that honesty and the willingness to recognize their own mistakes – their fouls – should dominate the game atmosphere.

Calling your own fouls in a sport contest reminds us of the Christian life, because it is very important for us as Christians to live in a state of innocence. The Bible uses the word "blameless" for this condition, which is how we are to be when Christ returns: "Who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:8).

Of course, we are blameless if we don't do anything wrong. That's obvious. But writing to his fellow Christians, the apostle John declared: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8).

However, we can also be blameless if we recognize our sins and confess them to God, seeking His forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). When God cleanses us from unrighteousness, we are blameless.

If we are to be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must be willing to be our own referee and call our own fouls.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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