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Psalm 51. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Examining my life for sin is not an especially enjoyable pursuit, but only when I identify the actions and beliefs that are keeping me apart from God can I begin the difficult interior work of becoming closer to God. I know that God does not hate me, that God will not banish me forever because of anything I’ve done, and that nothing I do or say or think or question can bring me out beyond God’s reach. With this knowledge, I have the confidence to look honestly at my life.
Confession allows us to take responsibility for our actions, which is a necessary step for change and growth. It is not a punishment, it is not torture; it can be painful, but it can also lead to comfort, renewal, and progress.
Today the Church remembers John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, 407.