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"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:7-10). 
"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires" (Romans 13:14).
Each of us is naturally concerned with self.  This is the very definition of pride: self-concern.  I can be self-concerned in an arrogant way and also in a pitiful way.  These are two ends of the spectrum, but each is a form of hubris.

For most of my childhood and adult life, I stood on the end of self-pity.  That is how my pride - unchecked and largely unrepentant of - showed itself.  I knew I was a wretch.  I knew I was a failure.  I used to beat myself up frequently, shouting things such as:

"You are a failure!"  "You are such an idiot!"  "How could God love you?"

This self-counsel seemed good to me at the time, but it never produced good fruit.  I simply became more self-concerned - with my failures, rather than my successes.  (In others, the opposite may be true.)

In reality, I was living in unrepentant sin - the sin of pride.  I continually thought (and still do many times) only of myself.

I was counselled by many well-meaning Christians over my life regarding these feelings of inferiority.

I was encouraged (or "puffed up").  "But you have so many good qualities, Jordan."  "Don't be so hard on yourself."  "No one can be perfect."  "Jesus just wants you to try your best."

For all their good intentions, however, they all missed the mark.  (Note: We are to encourage one another, but in truth, not in flattery.)

The Lord is light.  In Him there is no darkness.  Therefore, nothing is hidden from Him.  If we are to walk in the light, then we are to live in continual repentance and confession to Him.  When a bright light is turned on in a room, the light reveals both the beauty and the imperfections of the room.  A cracked ceiling, unnoticed in lesser light, is revealed by bright light.  On the other hand, a beautiful fireplace is accentuated by the bright light.

Likewise, if we are to practice good self-counsel, we need to confess our sins to the Lord, not merely feel bad for them.  We can liken this scenario to standing in front of stained paint on the wall in a brightly-lit room, attempting to cover up the stain because we feel embarrassed about it, as opposed to letting the light reveal the imperfection, and begging the Master of the house to repair it.

Brothers and sisters, my point is this: the Christian must live in continual repentance, for this is how good fruit is borne.  In John 15, Jesus tells the parable of the Vine and the branches, and the Vine-dresser.  The Vine-dresser goes through the vineyard pruning the branches that are bearing fruit - cutting away the dead waste - so that these branches may be even more fruitful.  How does the Vine-dresser do this pruning?  Through repentance - continual repentance.

Recently, I have been practicing repentance more frequently, and have noticed more fruit.  I am less concerned with myself and more concerned with others.  Let us make no provision for the selfish flesh through the discipline of repenting of our self-concern often.  To live in the presence of God - that is, to be a Christian - and not acknowledge our sin, but instead attempt to cover it up through self-pity, is to make Christ out to be a liar, the apostle John tells us.

Feeling bad about our sin is not enough.  Attempting to atone for our sin through self-mutilation will not absolve us of our guilt either.  The Lord requires complete obedience - which is impossible for man, but is possible with God.  Therefore, beg Christ for mercy daily!

In closing, my wife recently was reading an article in a magazine about self-harm and suicide, and how these things are growing more frequent as time goes on.  In addition, there is a growing drug-addiction problem as well.  She asked me why I thought this was happening.  I immediately thought of the very subject I am writing about now: unrepentance.  Each of us knows we fall short of the glory of God.  Yet, no amount of self-esteem boosting or self-help prescriptions will ever make a dent in our standing before God.  Even our most sincere attempts at righteousness are as filthy rags before God, Isaiah tells us.

How you ought to be shaking in your boots right now, terrified out of your mind, for fearful and terrifying is the fact that you are known!  Christ is perfect light, and in Him there is no darkness at all!  Not one thing can be hidden from Him.  How damned sinners are because of this.  Yet, how gracious and loving is Christ, who "is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" through repentance and seeking of His mercy.

Lord, many are my words in this article.  My goal was to be insightful by exposing Your Word.  I pray that You would teach us to repent and to beg You for Your unfailing mercies.  I pray that each of us would repent of our self-concern and walk in the light by faith.  Save Your people, Lord Jesus!  Amen.