Last spring a man came to see me. It was the beginning of Lent, the original "40 Days of Purpose-Filled Repentance."
"Pastor," he said, "I want to confess my sins." And in tears, he spoke honestly and openly about the sin in his life - nothing illegal, most known only to him, yet serious, and he was serious about turning away from it. We talked and prayed together, and he left.
Forty days later, he came back. "How are you doing?" I asked. "How is God at work in your life?"
He looked down. "I haven't made much progress," he admitted. "I still struggle with what we talked about before."
As I watched a tear slowly trickle down the center of his cheek, I saw in his agony a question I've often asked: "Why does sin so stubbornly remain in our lives? He and I both want to change more than we have and more than we do. How come?"
I've heard many answers, ranging from "You just haven't gotten serious enough about turning away from your sin," (which doesn't always seem the case) to "You need an experience ...1