I find confession really difficult: that moment in church when you are supposed to think of something that you have done, said, thought that made God feel sad. It's not that I haven't done, said, thought anything bad. It's just not really bad. Not as bad as some people. Not as bad as the bad people because I am - I think - a good person. I haven't killed anyone. I might have willed someone to shut up and F off but I didn't actually tell them to do it. Not aloud anyway.
John tells me that I am deceived. Deluded. I am wandering off the path of truth. I am covering up my own eyes - that child in a game of hide and seek who thinks that, just because his or her eyes are covered up then they can't be seen.
Sin is not a do or a don't. It isn't a good enough or a bad enough. Sin is an attitude, a condition. It isn't about whether I did or didn't. It's about the way I think, or fail to think, about God. Sin is what my stubborn heart looks like when I fail to acknowledge that God is good, when I fail to thank him, (Romans 1:21) when I fail to acknowledge the insurmountable worth of His Son. Sin is the slightest darkness that cannot come into the presence of the one who is Light and only light. (1 John 1:5)
God says that we have all sinned and fallen short. (Romans 3:23) We have all forgotten Him. We are all broken by our broken relationship with our heavenly Father. (Jeremiah 2:13) The only way to be cured is to admit that we are sick. (Mark 2:17) Self-deception will get us nowhere.