If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)

standing IN blood-soaked CLOTHES in a hospital emergency room in Panama, my husband informed me that police were taking him immediately to “Liar’s Court.” He had been slashed during an attempted daytime robbery and the would-be thief had been caught in a nearby housing compound, with the knife still in his hand.

The local court that dealt with such matters was dubbed “Liar’s Court” because everyone—perpetrator, victim, police, and magistrate—knew beforehand who had committed the crime, but, regardless, the felon would noisily protest his innocence.

God, who has perfect knowledge of us, declares that we have all broken His holy, moral law. Only by confessing our sins and agreeing with God’s judgments can we receive forgiveness and restoration to the relationship He wants to have with us. We can deceive ourselves and deny any guilt, but this would portray God as a liar. Refusing to acknowledge truth about ourselves ultimately leads to spiritual deadness and a compromised conscience.

To mature in our Christian walk, we must allow God to bring our failures and faults into His clear light. And the more we love Him, the more painful this process can sometimes be. It is not God’s intention to dishearten us, but to draw us closer to himself so that each day we might grow more fully into the likeness of His beloved Son.

Do a spiritual self-exam today and bring your findings to God in prayer.

Carol Chase and her husband spent many years circumnavigating the world by sailboat. She is retired and currently coordinates an e-mail prayer group from home.