John doesn’t waste time, when directing Christians back to God’s character, to remind how our hearts and minds should be relative to our sin. The fact that this crucial relationship of fellowship with God and acknowledgement of sin shows up early in the letter suggests that those causing discord amongst the fellowship had compromised the Word of Life with this aspect.

When we lose touch with God, the concept of confession seems foreign, uncomfortable, and unnecessary. God affirms, in fellowship with him, that he provides a safe place to show the Ugly. Sin is ugly, unattractive, and divisive. In this acknowledgement, we see God’s faithfulness, justice, forgiveness, and purification. It is easier to ignore sin and hope it goes away then to acknowledge, confront, and repent. A failure to acknowledge, confront, and repent challenges God’s illuminating truth, and snuffs out the light he offers to guide our lives. God says when we don’t get real about the ugly, we call him a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

{Meditations on 1 John 1:8-10}