Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Confession


Confession has always seemed a little strange to me.  I understood that I needed Christ’s forgiveness, and that the Bible says that I should confess my sins to God, but I wasn’t really sure what that looked like.  I would ask God to forgive my sins, knowing that I sin daily, but it wasn’t like I was outright lying to someone or murdering them.  Big sins needed to be confessed individually, and little ones could be confessed generally.  I didn’t commit big sins very often.

God has been changing my outlook bit by bit.  First, He showed me that there really isn’t much difference between “big” sins and “little” sins.  Just because I didn’t lie, didn’t mean that I didn’t break the ninth commandment; I didn’t tell the whole truth.  Just because I didn’t lie in bed with a man didn’t mean that I didn’t break the seventh commandment by thinking about him that way.  Just because I didn’t bury an axe in my “enemy’s” head didn’t mean that I didn’t break the sixth commandment by hating him rather than loving him.  Also, “the wages of sin is death...” (Romans 6:23a), which means that no matter how “big” or “little” my sin, the penalty is the same.  Death.  God revealed this little bit of wisdom to me during high school.

Second, He started showing me that being self-deprecating wasn’t the same as being humble.  Christ didn’t practice humility by being self-deprecating.  He “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8b)  May I have that kind of humility in obedience to God.  My self-deprecation only led to guilt and depression.

Third, this definition of humility began to bring out just how prideful I really am.  In fact, my sins in general started becoming far more apparent.  I had recognized my selfishness and my worry, but my pride - which manifested itself in fear, worry, selfishness, depression, and need to control and manipulate - had disguised itself well in my own deceitful heart.  “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Fourth, and recently, He is beginning to bring about a new understanding of confession in me.  I have previously experienced the healing that confessing my sins to Him can bring.  A youth pastor once made the analogy that with each sin, we place another brick that builds a wall between us and our holy Creator.  Until we confess those sins and are bestowed with His gracious forgiveness, we alienate ourselves from Him and His Grace.  

Now that I can more readily recognize my own sin, I am now confronted with the ability - and need - to confess those sins specifically, and to ask for His forgiveness for them.  To have a relationship with God, I cannot just ask for a general forgiveness of all of my sins and leave it there.  That isn’t personal, and it robs from Him the opportunity of giving the gift of His Son to me - the One who died and rose again to conquer the very sin that I am confessing.  That, in turn, robs me of the Joy of the Lord.  

I wondered why the same word “confess” was used in admitting our sin, and also in professing Christ.  In writing this, God showed me that confessing my sin is confessing Christ.  I confess that I am a sinner and cannot atone for my own sin, and thus I confess that I am a follower of Christ, Who took my sins upon Himself - even though He was blameless - and paid the penalty for them (death), and rose again to conquer even death and prepare a place for me to join Him in that everlasting life.

He did - and is doing - so much for me.  How can I be anything but thankful?  So I am thankful for confession, for the amazing gift to be able to give over my sins and profess Christ, my Savior.  This is Where the Healing Begins.

No comments:

Post a Comment