Most of us are familiar with Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, the Emperor’s New Clothes. If you’re not familiar with this wonderful story or need a review, it’s well worth a quick read.
Many of us are much like the emperor when it comes to admitting (confessing) our shortcomings (sins). We try to cover the truth of our lives with fine trappings. We try to hide the ugliness from others and, far too often, from ourselves.
Recall that in the story, all the wise could see the emperor’s new (non-existent) clothes. Only the foolish could not. Who wants to admit that they are foolish? So, wearing his foolishness as finery, the emperor paraded naked through his realm. Not wanting to appear foolish, his subjects oohed and awed over the fine clothing that they could not see either.
To the knowledge of all, the emperor actually paraded buck naked through the streets. His shortcomings were on display to all.
It took the innocent honesty of a child to point out that the emperor was naked. Even then, because he would have to admit that he was foolish, the emperor himself did not recognize it. He continued to march about fully exposed while believing himself to be above foolishness.
My friends, we are very much like the emperor in his new clothes when we either avoid or refuse to confess our own short-comings, our foolishness, to God. He already knows, of course. We’re not fooling Him. But when, like the pharisee in the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector, we are arrogant in our foolishness, we’re also exposed to others.
So, come clean. Truly confess that we are imperfect. Be specific about it. We can only change and fix specific things, not all-encompassing general things.
Otherwise we end up like the emperor… marching around clothed only in our foolishness.
Who wants to see that?
Alive in The Word
1 Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.