As we go through the spiritual disciplines, this week we focused on one that is difficult for most, if not all. This is especially true today. In a society that tells you to make up your own truth to be accepted just the way you are, and that truth is relative, confession leads us in the exact opposite direction.
Instead of hiding our sins under our own version of truth, confession challenges us to see God’s truth and surrender to His will.
Instead of hiding our sins under our own version of truth, confession challenges us to see God’s truth and surrender to His will. It calls us to understand that there is a “right and wrong,” and that they don’t change because we want them to. And this isn’t just for the “egregious” sins as we see them, but for the sins that we struggle with in our own hearts, the sins that even many in the church find acceptable today.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”1 John 1:8-10 NIV
Confession is a call to make sure that our hearts are right before God. It requires us to have a humble heart, understanding that we are sinners, just like everyone else.
And as we seek to live as people pleasing to God, drawing closer to Him every day, the way we do this is by confessing our sins. And this isn’t just something to do on our own. We are called to do this corporately as well. One place we find this is in James.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”James 5:16 NIV
A great way to do this is to have an accountability partner. This is someone you can be honest with about areas in your life where you are struggling. I wonder if things would have been different for King David if he had an accountability partner to get in touch with after he saw Bathsheba bathing (2 Samuel 11)?
The challenge for this week is to find someone you can share your struggles with (if you don’t have one), or share something with your accountability partner that you have been unwilling to share. Feel free to reach out to your pastor (or one of our pastors at the Elm Street Community Church) if you feel you need to know that it will be kept in complete confidence. Please note that confidence will be kept unless you are going to harm yourself or someone else (this is the law).