Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Man UP, Cards Down

Nine men gathered in the Fish Barn this morning to play Texas Hold 'Em. We had to explain the rules to a few of the guys. Christians used to consider playing cards a sin. Today Americans call it a sport. I'm not sure which description is more ridiculous.
Over the course of the hour, I lost two dollars in change and confessed a few sins. Fess UP was our theme. We ate peanuts, placed bets, and received our challenge. While week five of Man UP did not boast the adventure of last week's boating accident, it did net John several bucks. Our self-proclaimed poker novice won the largest share. We called him a hustler; he never fessed up.

Christ-followers must confess sin. Confession loosens strongholds and invites forgiveness. Christian men should not live in the darkness. Christian women should not suffer in the shadows. "We have all sinned," Paul states. The failings of our brothers should not surprise us. The sins of our sisters should come as no shock. And yet, confession is curiously absent from most Christian friendships.

This morning we asked our men to be honest. Some unleash hell with their tongues. Others have cheated employers and deceived neighbors. One spoke about his judgmental spirit. We laid our cards on the table. We showed our hands. We banked on God's grace. Fortunately, He is rich in mercy.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9, NASB).

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