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

Penitent confession and acknowledgment of sin are the believer's business, and the means of his deliverance from his guilt. [Matthew Henry]




NPR ran a heartbreaking interview with Robert Ebeling, an engineer who worked on the 1986 Challenger launch that resulted in the death of all seven occupants. In January 1986, Ebeling and four other engineers pleaded for the launch to be delayed; they anticipated the precise failure that would destroy the shuttle. That night, Ebeling even told his wife, Darlene, "It's going to blow up." The engineers' pleas were refused. Three weeks after the explosion, he and another engineer, since deceased, spoke to NPR. Ebeling was not identified by name until this past week. The NPR article continued:

Ebeling retired soon after Challenger. He suffered deep depression and has never been able to lift the burden of guilt. In 1986, as he watched that haunting image again on a television screen, he said, "I could have done more. I should have done more." He says the same thing today, sitting in a big easy chair in the same living room, his eyes watery and his face grave. The data he and his fellow engineers presented, and their persistent and sometimes angry arguments, weren't enough to sway Thiokol managers and NASA officials. Ebeling concludes he was inadequate. He didn't argue the data well enough. A religious man, this is something he has prayed about for the past 30 years. "I think that was one of the mistakes that God made," Ebeling says softly. "He shouldn't have picked me for the job. But next time I talk to him, I'm gonna ask him, 'Why me. You picked a loser.'"


Robert Ebeling tried to stop a disaster. He lamented over the fact his efforts were in vain. The problem was that he couldn�t forgive himself or accept the forgiveness of others. God didn�t make a mistake, God put a man in place to speak up, but others would not listen. Even Robert wasn�t listening � He was forgiven. He had spoken up, he had confessed his efforts failed.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.