Confession—real, raw confession—confession that stings—is a critical component of a healthy spiritual life. It’s also an essential element of robust Christian community. We may not like it, we may not want to admit it, but we all need to be known, truly known—and to be accepted by our friends and family still.
The culture of the world tells us, though, that to be accepted we must project images that are only partially accurate. And that seems right, at first. But it’s not. It’s a lie from our enemy. Because, as long as we conceal parts of our lives, we cannot know the true depth of our friendships. As long as we hide, community is never tested. As long as we hide, we harbor doubts: would they stand by me, if they knew the real me? This leads to shame, and we forsake the wonderful gift of compassion from true Christian community. King Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
Moreover, if our friends and family see us only partially, they cannot fight for us—because we obscure from them what’s going wrong. But something has gone wrong and something will. Because here’s what we need to remember: we’ve all “sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The Apostle Paul wrote that in the third chapter of Romans. So when we fall short—not if we fall short, but when we fall short—we need others to see . . . so they can step in—to help and to pray.
James the brother of Jesus encouraged us to “confess your sins to one another . . . pray for one another, that you may be healed.” Why? “The prayer of a righteous person has great power,” he tells us. You see, when we confess—when we let other people into our lives—and when we and they pray together, things change. We are able to move into the new life that Jesus offers us in His love. We are able to move into peace and freedom.
Do you want that? Do you want to be free of shame and self-contempt? If you do, let’s start by figuring out two things: what to confess and to whom.
Listen to Obedience and the Beginning of Love . . .