Monday, August 29, 2016

Start Your Week in the Word - Confession

Not the kind that happens through a screen in wooden cubicles. In all honesty I'm a protestant and aside from the assuredly distorted depiction seen in movies know nothing of this kind of confession.

Other than on the witness stand in the courtroom, I've never really been interrogated either. Though I bet I sweat and shook just as much in that little box, squeezed onto the edge of an ancient wooden chair praying it wouldn't squeak. But I myself have never been charged with anything, much less had to give a confession to a crime.


I'm talking about the face-to-face, ugly, chest-squeezing kind of confession. Where you know it is meaningless and pointless unless something changes, and you are the one obligated to change.

I've been talking about our enemy on Mondays, but today I'm going to talk about something he doesn't want you to do. Lets face it, I've never met anyone who wants to. Confess. To own your sins, your mistakes, your wrongs. It usually means to be sorry - and to be genuinely sorry means to stop.

"I acknowledge my sin to You,And my iniquity I did not hide;I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord";And You forgave the guilt of my sin." 
- Psalms 32:5
Our pastor taught on confession this summer, and he said something undeniably relevant:
 Human nature is to expose our strengths and successes 
we hide our weaknesses and failures.
So true. Call it a primal survival skill; something bred into our self-serving, self-preserving temperaments. When we fail to expose our weaknesses we hurt our relationships, we can become a stumbling block to others, and we are incapable of receiving the benefit of our relationship with the Lord and people who love us.

Grab a cup of coffee together if that makes it easier ...
"If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
- 1 John 1:8-9
My confession was necessary for God to begin to heal my conditions: that of my heart and the weakness of my flesh. My confession to Tim was necessary to heal our relationship. Secrets of any kind do not establish trust and understanding within a marriage. And not confessing my weakness to other believers means they can't pray specifically for my vulnerabilities. Ironic, that by not being vulnerable to those who care about me - I was leaving my susceptibility unprotected.
"Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed."
- James 5:16
What do you have to confess? Though painful, it is a healthy practice to ask God to sift our hearts and show us what there is we need to confess. Confession is hard. It feels impossible even when you know the person you are staring in the eye loves you. That can even make confession more difficult because you know it will hurt them too. You want to tell yourself that whatever it is you are about to say isn't that bad, that important.

Grab a phone, grab a seat ... whatever it takes
But just when your heart finally starts beating again, a dam breaks and relief can flood your flushed, overheated flesh. For with confession comes healing. 

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