In early American Christianity, most churches had a place in their sanctuary called the mourner’s bench. It was where you went when you were convicted of your sin. Then from the mourner’s bench you moved to the foot of the cross to find forgiveness. Genuine sorrow over sin brought the joy, healing and saving power of God in your life. So blessed are those who mourn their sins for they shall be comforted. It is only when you are honest before God and confess your sins that God can save your life. The problem is that we have lost the mourner’s bench. We hardly believe in sin anymore. For moral failure or self-absorbed living, we speak words like dysfunction, mistakes, and lapses of judgment. We excuse brokenness and immoral behavior by saying the standards of morality have changed and that right and wrong is a matter of how you feel and not measured by some objective moral truth. Remember that Jesus didn’t die on a cross for our dysfunctions, poor upbringings, lapses in judgment or mistakes. He died for our sins. He died so we could be forgiven from our sin and free from the guilt of sin, messed up living on this earth and eternal dying. Bring the mourner’s bench back into your life, a place where you mourn and grieve over your brokenness and sin because from there you will be healed, forgiven, set free, and saved.
– Dr. Tim Thompson