I want to commit to Jesus, I just need to make some changes first…

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

We do not cleanse ourselves. That is God’s business.

Nor do we prepare ourselves to be cleansed. That is His business as well.

What is so interesting –and, at times, heartbreaking– is how counterintuitive this one simple principle is. We believe our duty is to get ourselves prepared for surrender- get our lives in order first- before committing.

We must first clean ourselves up.

We have habits we know we cannot carry with us into submission– friends we’ve amassed, relationships we’ve accumulated, connections we’ve made, words we’ve become addicted to, behaviors that are unhealthy.

The thought of surrender sends our minds racing down the path of comparison. We connect those dots. We know how unworthy and unprepared we are for that sort of commitment. Our lives are too messy.

So we excuse ourselves out the door of Good Intentions. The Savior of Mankind gives us two options for how we can respond to Him, and in our panic we create a third option to stall: Let me first get my life in order, then I can commit.

But notice what John writes above: your contribution ends at confession. The verbs from that point forward all are associated with Him, not you.

The cleaning and the cleansing, that’s His responsibility. Not yours. Frankly, you can’t do it.

(If you could, you wouldn’t need a savior.)


One evening in my younger and more rebellious days a friend stopped by my house. It was during a period when I was running from Christ. I knew I needed to stop and get serious. But I was worried about all the connections I had made, the habits I had formed, the people I had met.

“Let me get my life in order first,” I told him.

I was smoking and cursing like a sailor, and had made some friends who shared those vices.

He smiled. “That makes sense. Just like the way you shower off before you get in the shower.”

I squinted. I do? …I don’t think I do that…. Is that a thing?

Seeing my confusion, he continued:

“You know,” he continued, “how most people have installed mini showers beside their real shower so they can get clean before they get in to get clean…”

He watched to see my frustrated wheels turning…


“No one does that,” he laughed, “because it’s stupid. You take a shower to get clean. You don’t approach the shower looking to get clean so you can get clean in the shower. The shower is what gets you clean.”


Why do people feel the need to clean themselves up first before coming to Christ?

Jesus is what makes you clean. He is the shower. His reason in coming to earth was to make you clean.

You don’t need to first try to do it yourself.

You just need to surrender.

Your contribution ends at confession. 1 John 1:9 says He does the rest.


Don’t give yourself a loophole –it’s a copout, intended to stall.

If you’re dirty, just jump in.

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