Thanks for stopping by as we bring our series on confession to a close. I hope to hear back from you, and would love to read your thoughts in the comments section below.
Confession brings us out of the darkness
Sin grows, and gains strength in the darkness. 1 John says it like this:
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Part of what makes sin so destructive, and how people find that their lives have spun out of control, is the fact that they took the brokenness in their lives, shoved it in a closet, and hoped it never resurfaces again.
But that just doesn’t happen does it?
To suppress is to allow infection
When we refuse to bring the issues in our heart out into the open, when we refuse to admit that we are in need of help, the rottenness will continue to spread and in the end will cause more damage than we ever imagined possible.
But when we bring our issues into the light, when we admit our mistakes and ask God and another for help, we will watch as that rot and decay begins to be removed and heal. Instead of festering in the dark, you’ll find healing in the light.
We are a people made to live in the light. And confession is one of the main ways this will happen!
Confession allows us to participate
“Honestly, once you realize that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is less about the sin and more about Christ’s death and resurrection having victory in a person’s life, the sins lose all of their luster, and Jesus’ victory takes center stage.”
Discretion is necessary
I believe it actually goes without saying that the practice and sacrament of confession isn’t a free license to share everything with everyone. The harsh reality is that no all can be trusted. Not all are ready to bear a burden from another.
But there are people ready and willing to shoulder what you have to share.
And through prayer, God wants to bring that person into your life and allow you to share your story with another.
Very often, rules of confession dictate that if you’re a man, find a man to talk with. Same goes for women.
If you’re married, there are times when it’s healthy and beneficial for you to have your confessional partner be your spouse, however there are also times when your confessions will cause harm and pain to your spouse.
Often times, meetings like AA will encourage you to find a sponsor who is outside your family system. During your steps, you will approach your spouse, admit to wrong doing, and ask for forgiveness (then work hard to earn their trust again!)…but sometimes it takes starting with another before working back into the home.
Find a person with whom you can begin that process of confession. Maybe that person will be in this church, maybe they wont be.
Maybe you will need to find a counselor or therapist (and in that there is no shame!), or maybe you’ll need to join a recovery group like AA.
But I plead with you to find someone with whom you can be truly honest about your life.
And commit to being in that relationship with them. Weekly or bi-weekly. It doesn’t so much matter how often as much as it matters that you’re consistent.
And in this consistency, I know you’ll witness the power of grace in a way you never expected.
In closing, I want to read the serenity prayer. It was written in 1943 by Reinhold Niebur..it goes like this.
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.