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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Confession of a good man

The chief sin is giving up because I think myself worse than I am

Why do I wake in the night, tiny shivers of horror rippling my spine, as I hear something inner: "You are evil. Daily you hang my son. Insist on your innocence, and you die. Confess, and you may live"?

Awake I in no way consider myself depraved. I struggle to be the best husband I can, the best father, the best teacher, the best writer. Still, the ideal and the real remain light years apart. That gap may be my sin. As God's child I can be better than I am. Lack of will — or too much of it — keeps me from that "better."

Ours is no longer a shame society. The counselor advises: Don't flay yourself with your own failings. Seek forgiveness, though it's not a big deal. Human perfection is an impossibility.


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September issue

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