In confession… we open our lives to healing, reconciling, restoring, uplifting grace of Him who loves us in spite of what we are.
I am pretty much an open book, or an open blog I guess. You can scroll for hours through posts that reveal my confessions of sin, parenting disasters, marriage fails, ministry mistakes and grief that makes me nauseous to even remember. I start to go a little crazy when I feel all bottled-up inside.
A side effect of my transparency is that I am always encouraging other people to try it too. In blog world and the real one, I invite people to be open with confession and stop masking their weakness. But the truth is, there are some environments that simply don’t provide a safe place to do that.
There are places that the repercussions of honesty terrify us. There are places that judgement meets confession and scorn meets admission. Blank stares respond to the acknowledgement of guilt. And the feeling that “they just don’t get me” makes you want to crawl in hole and make it go away. The distance grows wider, further isolating us in our swell of shame and sorrow.
Sometimes church is one of those places.
Once had a brother who used drugs and alcohol confess. The elder stood him up before the group and said that he was now on “probation” and we all were supposed to keep an eye on him to see if he brought forth fruits of repentance. No love, no forgiveness, no grace.
Yesterday I was wowed by the way my church responded to one of their fallen. They simply picked her up.
This is how the transparency should look in the family of God.
gentle teaching births repentanceIf someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. Do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Teach with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth.
prayer meets confession
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
love extends forgivenessNow, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.
heavenly heroes doing their thing
My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.Gal. 6:1; 2 Thes. 3:15; 2 Tim 2:25; 2 Cor.2:7-8, Jm. 5:16, 19-20