If you ever visit Italy there is one, iconic landmark that you have to see. Ok, Italy is full of iconic landmarks, so there are a bunch you need to check out. But as long as you’re there, how can you pass up going to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Lots of people have fun with photography there and gladly show pictures of themselves preventing the tower from falling down completely. If you look at the pictures through the years, you might even believe that if tourists didn’t take turns supporting that tower, it would have fallen down. Did you know, though, that this tower is the shortest tower in the world to receive notoriety? When it was built, it was originally two stories and had no problems? Did you know that it was when the third story was added that the problems with the foundation appeared and the tower started leaning?
People did everything they could to stop the lean. They kept adding floors to the tower. But the bad foundation made the building totally useless – except to be used for pictures as a monument to bad design. We look at the pictures and laugh. If we think seriously about it, we understand the need for a strong foundation for buildings. At the same time, we need to use that as an illustration of the need for a strong foundation for life. Jesus talked about building on the rock – and we realize that Jesus meant having a strong foundation in Him. There are many people who seem successful in life, until their sins are found out. When that happens, their lives fall apart and everything tumbles down. Solomon talked about this in Proverbs. “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
Have you ever been disappointed by someone who seemed to be at the top of their profession, only to find out that they had built their lives on a series of hidden sins? Perhaps it was a politician who faked their resume. Maybe it was a businessman who lied and cheated on the way to the top. Maybe it was person you thought was a good friend, only to find out that they were gossiping about you. Many people caught up in bad situations try to avoid letting people know about them. Ever had an unpaid bill that you didn’t want someone to see? As people attempt to prevent others from knowing about their sins, they pile on lie after lie, and sin after sin to keep people from finding out about their sin. Solomon reminds us that people, and God, show mercy when we confess and renounce our sins.
The foundation of our Christian faith is not perfection: real or perceived. Our foundation is that we have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul lists a number of sins that keep people from Heaven. His message isn’t “those people are terrible.” His message is that we were like that at one time. We have fallen short of the glory of God, but we have forgiveness and mercy from God through Jesus Christ when we confess and renounce our sins. We cannot hide our sins from God. God knows. God isn’t sitting on His heavenly throne, waiting to zap us for our sins, though. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay any penalty for our sins. So examine your life. Where are the sins? Ask God to reveal them to you if you don’t know what it is. Then, confess your sins – agree with God that these actions are sins, and that you have committed them. Renounce your sins. But here’s the key: accept the mercy of God as He forgives your sins. Then, trust God to cleanse you from all your sins through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Oh Lord, I so want to hide my sins, especially from You. I think of all You’ve done for me and I don’t want to disappoint You – yet I continue to sin. Know my heart, Lord. Forgive my sins. Keep me from my sins.