As I read through part of the book of Acts this morning, I was struck by the relationship between jealousy/envy and a tendency to contradict and revile others.
“The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.”
As I recognized the reality of jealousy/envy in my own heart, my response was to want to do something about it. I realized that this is my typical response to the sin exposed in my heart. I want to make up for it somehow, or overcome it. But what is the right biblical response?
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
The verse is so familiar, and yet so foreign. Instead of trying to deal with my sin, or work through it, or compensate for it by trying to do better, God calls me to confession. For it is only in confessing our sin to God that we can receive forgiveness and truly be cleansed. What a humbling and beautiful promise!