One of the common sins inside the Christian Church is the sin of introspection, and it is one of the common sins committed at this table. The sin of introspection is a species of pride, but it is particularly insidious because it presents itself as deep and lowly humility. The sin of introspection dwells on past or present sins and says things like: I’m just so terrible and awful, I’m not worthy. It wallows in unworthiness.
Now of course, there is truth to it. This is what makes it tempting. Of course you are unworthy of Christ and this table. And if you sinned again, that really is terrible and awful. But God says this: if you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So it is right and good to feel the conviction of your sin: the Holy Spirit searches us and convicts us of real sin so that we can confess and get clean. But this is the thing to pay close attention to: the Holy Spirit convicts you in order to get you back into the joy of salvation as quickly as possible. The Holy Spirit is not your abuser or accuser. That’s the Devil. That’s Satan. So if you are feeling conviction for a clear sin, then praise God and confess it, and repent of it: and that means making concrete changes in your life so you don’t do it again. That’s the Holy Spirit, and when you do that, you come out into the light and there should be relief and joy.
Godly introspection is driven by joy, but the sin of introspection refuses to come out into the light. And this is why the sin of introspection is actually a form of pride. Jesus comes and opens the prison door and says, “I paid for it all, you can go free.” But the man or woman clinging to the sin of introspection has the audacity to tell Jesus “no.” The sin of introspection says that the blood of Jesus was not enough, that you are some kind of special human being for whom the Cross does not apply. And therefore you must suffer a bit more because you were really bad. But that is pure blasphemy. You are not special. And besides if you’re that bad why are you still listening to yourself? If you’re that bad, have the humility to listen to Christ. And this is what He says: your sins were like scarlet, but now they are white as snow.
So Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ.