The Bravery in a True Confession
Ever feel like a true confession is a bit much? You know, really bearing those secrets that you let know one see. Would you ever? Could you ever?
There's this scripture verse that talks about confessing our sins to one another. James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins to one another, so that you may be healed. Huh! I like the thought of the healing. But do my friends really needs to know about my sins?
Back when I was younger and my back didn't hurt everyday, I was a volunteer youth leader to an amazing bunch of kids who are now parents in their own right (I'm dating myself). One night the youth pastor gave a talk on this verse. Confess your sins to one another. Be real and candid with each other. That was really the first time I looked at this verse deeply. The deeper I looked the more I considered ignoring this verse all together.
The very idea of brining to light what I did in my own home or thought in my own mind sent terror down my spine. My question wasn't whether I would be found out. But would I still be accepted. Could I trust my community, my friends, and my family with my sins? Aren't sins just between God and myself anyway?
I think about this now because I've been doing my fair share of true confessions lately. I've gotten myself into a bit of a jam. It turns out that behind the glory of quitting your job and starting a business or two from scratch, real life is happening. You know bills. And responsibilities. And dentist appointments. A reality that insistently asks if you can pay all your bills. A reality that forces you to realize changes need to be made. A reality that forces you to a decision about your dreams and actually living.
Along with this confession, I will admit I'm not much of a worrier. I'm kind of laid back. I don't worry about the weather, the future, or my finances. While some would envy a more laid back personality, I would say this gets me into trouble when it comes to my finances. My motto of it will all work out is not necessarily true when I've spent it all.
So, I've been doing some confessing. I've had to confess things I've never confessed to others. I've had to confess them to myself. And here's what I'm learning about true confessions.
1. True confession starts with you and God. The truth is that your sin is between you and God. It is the act of confession before God that gets you to a place where you can start your healing journey. It's healing because God is a God of grace. No matter how bad it is - he knows about it already and is waiting to love you through it.
2. True confession honors you. In my own situation, I kept telling myself it's not that bad. I can handle it. I was in denial. I downplayed what I needed to do and how I needed to do it. One of the most healing times for true confession is actually admitting who I am on the inside and what, if anything needs to change.
3. True confession trusts community. The reason James 5:16 is in the BIble is because it's true. When we confess our sins and our problems to one another, we find healing. Healing because we're no longer keeping it to ourselves. Healing because we can share the load. Healing because we find that we are loved and accepted for who we are and not because of what we can do or because we are perfect. We are loved with our faults, weaknesses, and sins. That's powerful!
I don't know what you're facing today. It could be a sin you've kept to yourself. It could be a problem you can't dig yourself out of. It could just be a weaknesses you bristle at when people get close. Whatever it is, there's healing in a true confession.
The bravest thing you and I can do is to confess to one another. To let one another in to the deepest parts of our lives. To allow those we trust to see the mess we've made and love us through it.
One foot faith is a walk of true confession. It trusts God with our mess. It trusts ourselves with our mess. It trusts those we love with our mess.
I was in a coaching class recently and as part of a coaching tool, one of my friends had us pick a tea bag tag out of a bowl. Each tea bag had a saying on it to speak into our current situation. Mine said, " Grace brings contentment." What would your life look like if you extended grace to yourself and trusted others with your true confession? Walking with you in grace and mercy.