God’s Kindness and a Bar of Soap
THIS IS THE TESTIMONY OF MARY POPLIN, a college professor once steeped in New Age thought, which denied any sense of personal sin or guilt. In fact, Poplin once classified herself as being “spiritual but not religious, which meant I could be good without God.”
But slowly God began to reveal the sin of her own heart. She remembers having a vivid dream where she saw Jesus. When she saw Jesus in her dream, she said, “I grasped immediately that every cell in my body was filled with filth. Weeping, I fell at his feet. But when he touched my shoulders, I suddenly felt perfect peace.”
After sharing this dream with a friend, her friend encouraged her to begin reading the Bible. Through this experience, not only did she become convinced that evil exits, but that it exists inside of her.
She writes, “On the first Sunday in January 1993, I was sitting in a very small Methodist church where my mother had grown up, listening to the pastor invite the congregation to Communion. When the time came to go forward, I prayed to God, ‘If you are real, please come and get me.’ Suddenly, I felt the same peace I had known in the dream.
To clean up my soul, God taught me what a good friend of mine calls the ‘bar of soap’ passage–1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I asked God to forgive me for having watched pornography, and I felt no desire to see it any longer.
But forgiveness wasn’t always easy to accept. I had undergone two abortions, and over three long years of prayer, I doubted whether God had truly forgiven me. Some counselors and fellow Christians had encouraged me to ‘forgive myself,’ but the more I searched the Scriptures the more confident I was that forgiveness could only come as God’s gift. Like Paul, I had to learn to “forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead,” toward, “the prize to which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
What about you? Has been a while since you have used that “bar of soap” called confession? Paul reminds us in Romans 2:4 that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. God always cleanses a humble and repentant heart.
Login/Register to leave comment