It is embarassing to confess a sin that has been holding us captive.
Confession is revealing our vulnerability in full view. It runs the risk of public humiliation. It runs the risk of the wrath of loved ones coming down on us. It is that wrath that keeps us from confession. It is the fear of that wrath that keeps us stuck in captivity afraid of what will happen once everyone knows.
I will lose everything, we say.
They will hate me and despise me, we say.
They will know I am not perfect, we say.
They will see the depths of my evil, we say.
And so we stay stuck. Mired in the muck of destructive sin. Fighting hard to cover the lies we are living. Covering our tracks every which way we go. Desperately desiring freedom but not knowing where it will come from.
We have tried this confession thing before. And it resulted in a sermon. We have tried this confession thing before. And it resulted in loved ones leaving us behind. We have tried this confession thing before. And it resulted in being told how horrible we are.
I’m not going down that path again, we say.
But, confession is a key to freedom.
When it is received with grace.
Confession is freedom when it is Jesus receiving the adulterous woman caught in her sin, and saying “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” The “go and sin no more” part is only possible in full view of “neither do I condemn you.” By itself “go and sin no more” keeps the weight of the sin and condemnation on the offender.
Grace says to confession “neither do I condemn you”.
Confession is freedom when it is Jesus meeting the woman at the well, knowing her story of five husbands and a current live in boyfriend, and still offering life to her. Confession is being able to tell someone our entire life story and having that person not run away from us, condemning us to loneliness, but instead, staying right there with us guiding us to a new life.
Grace says to confession “I know where you have been and I am going to be with you in the new place where you are going.”
There are people all around us who feel trapped in their addiction. There are people all around us who are enslaved by their brokenness. There are people all around us who are lost in loneliness because they are afraid of rejection.
These people are us.
And we need grace.
Confession brings freedom when it runs head on into grace.
Let us be people of grace, so when people like ourselves need freedom, we have someone to go to for confession.
Let us be people who confess, so when people like ourselves need freedom, we have somewhere to go for grace.