Sometimes we have days when we can’t help but see how much of a sinner we are. These are often discouraging days! But especially when our sin is exposed, we can know God is doing us good. Here are just 5 reasons why finding out how much of a sinner you are can be a blessing.
1. God’s purpose for us requires us to know our sin
I can’t emphasize enough that God’s purpose for us is that we grow in holiness. If we’re to engage in this process, and the word of God indicates we should, we have to have somewhere to start. It is not possible to take an active part in the sanctification process without knowing our sin and corruption. We can’t repent of (turn away from) what we’re not aware of, and therefore we cannot actively grow in Christlikeness unless we discover our sin. When we see our sin, we can plan a chart for growth. Without knowing our sin, we can’t grow.
2. Humility grows in the soil of recognized sin
I don’t know about you, but I need to grow in humility. I’m far too sure of myself. Perhaps you’re different. Perhaps you struggle with self-pity. Both self-pity and high-mindedness are manifestations of pride. One way we think more highly of ourselves than we ought. The other way we think we’re worth more than we’re getting. I find that I swing between these two.
A great way to overcome this is to see my sin clearly. As I do, the high-mindedness is brought low and the expectation that I should be getting more is lowered. Paul told the Romans to “think so as to have sound judgment” (Rom 12:3). Thinking rightly about ourselves means seeing ourselves as the word of God says we are. When we see ourselves rightly before God, what we think of ourselves compared to others becomes increasingly insignificant.
3. We discover God’s grace as we find our need
Worship flows from a right understanding of God. But we can’t really understand God until we have a right understanding of ourselves. John said it best, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Therefore, we need to know our sin in order to know God. More specifically, if we want to understand the magnificence of His grace and kindness toward us, we need to grow to see our sin for what it is and to hate it.
Only against the dark background of our sin does the radiance of the gospel shine forth.
4. Our salvation from sin is a cause of joy
We are commanded to rejoice always (1 Thess 5:16). If we don’t see our need of salvation, the joy of salvation will be stolen from us because we won’t recognize God’s mercy toward us (Titus 3:5). His grace grants to us great riches: His blessing, adoption, knowledge of His will, an inheritance, and the Holy Spirit as a guarantee (Eph 1:3, 5, 9, 11, 13). All of this is for the glory of His grace (Eph 1:6, 12, 14).
A right understanding of our sin allows us to see the magnificence of God’s rich kindness toward us in both His mercy and grace, which is a cause of joy since none of this can be taken from us regardless of our circumstances. Rejoice!
5. We can grow in thankfulness
Understanding the riches of God’s mercy and grace should make us more thankful for what we have. Even when things go badly for us (humanly speaking) we can still thank God. In fact, no matter how bad things get for us, they can never get as bad as we deserve them to be, so we ought always be thankful! When things are going well, this is an expression of the goodness of the Lord, which we get to experience very day. This explains why Paul commanded thanksgiving, and why he could say that, like sanctification, thanksgiving is the will of God for us (1 Thess 5:18).
If you’ve been confronted by how much of a sinner you are, take heart. God is doing good by showing you. Learning about the significance of our sin is intended by God for our joy and happiness as we learn to delight in Him!
Certainly, revealing our sin to ourselves is unpleasant and revealing it to others is humiliating, but the results of this discovery and exposure are pleasing to God, and ultimately a cause of happiness to us too. If you haven’t already, take a look at How to assess your soul in your quiet time, and 30 questions that will expose your heart and let them challenge you in order that you can grow in joy.