“If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.”
It would be nice if there was a simple equation in life where we could consistently say a + b = c. But life is not that easily cut and dried. Yes, our sinful lifestyles can bring about trouble (think illicit drugs here). And I guess, if you want to be technical, there would be no trouble in the world if it were not for Adam and Eve’s sin. Yet if the only time that I’m without any adversity in my life is when I’m totally sinless, that’s never going to happen.
Job responded to his friend, “I know that the thing you want me to do is to admit that I’m a sinner, repent and then all will be good.” But he said, “I know the deceitfulness of my own heart.” “Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life” (Job 9:21). Job stated that when he really began to search his heart, he found baggage and junk there that he didn’t know existed. He admitted honestly, “I’m going to get rid of every known sin, I’m going to repent and take responsibility for everything wrong but there are secret sins in me, things that I don’t even understand, things so deceitful that I can’t even recognize.”
Job’s point was simply this – if we say that we have no sin, we’re just deceiving ourselves. “Bildad” Job reasoned, “You’re deceiving yourself to say your life is without trouble because you have no sin. Everybody else knows that you have sin in your life, God knows that…and so do I!”
For me, the only thing I’ve ever found to do to eliminate the possibility that my troubles are a source of divine discipline, is to is to throw myself at the feet of God in humility and say, “I am evil, sinful and I need your grace and your mercy and your help.” I then try to make changes where I sense God’s promptings. Only then I can face tough times with a clear conscience. We humans sin. In fact, we sin often; more often than we would like to admit. Because of this sad, but true, fact we need to clear the slate before we can be assured we will receive the help of God.