One tool that is required in every horse barn is a good "feed bucket."
As a matter of fact, there is usually more than one. Lately I have been thinking how something so ordinary is used so often.
Most Christians carry a "feed bucket" with them. I like to call this my "sin bucket." This is the bucket used to pile all the sins into each week and take them to church and dump them out before God. When done, folks will pick up their "sin bucket," head out into the world, fill it again and repeat the process.
Most people feel like as long as God knows they are sorry, that is good enough. Protestant Christians have been conditioned to believe that God forgets sin. While the Bible is clear that he remembers sin no more, it is also clear that it means he doesn't hold sin against a person when it is confessed. One simply can't assume that God just forgets about man's sin. God doesn't pick up the Bible and say, "oh, yeah, now I remember about David and Bathsheba."
Sin is documented so that it can be confessed and then turned from.
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed," reads James 5:16. "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
Real change is the ultimate goal of true confession. The reason God wants people to confess their sins to those upon whom sins have been committed is because once it's been publicly brought to the forefront, good chance it will not be done anymore. True change in a person's life includes confession, repentance and reconciliation.
If people really want to be "good" with God, as it relates to the sin in life, they need to also be "good" with those they have sinned against.
(To contact Keck, email email@example.com.)