Wednesday, April 20, 2011

True Confession

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16a

This week I found myself in the position of needing to make amends for having hurt a friend. My intentions were based in love and meant to be beneficial, but my approach was not a biblical one and exposed some of the ugly parts of my heart in the process.

Have you ever had one of those "open mouth, insert foot" moments?

I tried to explain myself, but that made things worse. Eventually, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit to take responsibility for my actions and confess my sin. That started a cascade of confessions that I realized I also needed to take responsibility for to about a half dozen other individuals who were exposed to what I had said and may have also been hurt by it.

Before the confession phone calls, I was a mess. I couldn't sleep, I was crying, I was scared of how people would react and that confronting my sin with each individual would cause our relationships to change forever.

After the confession calls, I realized that with each one, God was lifting a burden from my heart and healing me. I had a good night's slept for the first time in a long while. While the scars of what I've done may continue to exist, God's healing work on the cross has covered my sin and his forgiveness is providing such incredible healing and new growth for me in this particular area of temptation.

Although my child is only 2, I do try to incorporate this habit into our dealings with him as well. When I have erred in my parenting and it has caused him hurt or diminished the trust in our relationship, I take a moment to apologize to him and ask for forgiveness. Although he is at a point in his development where I have to guide him to say the words "I forgive you, Mommy" (as they are difficult for him to pronounce), my hope is that by practicing this now, he will grow to have those words come easily off his tongue as he grows up and experiences the hurt of the world throughout his life.

As we approach the cross especially during this Holy Week, take some time to experience the healing power of what God promises when we step out in obedience to His Word and make a true confession of our sin to one another.

Heavenly Father,
Please help me to trust you and obey your Holy Spirit's promptings when I have sinned against a friend or family member. Give me courage to confess. Thank you for your healing power, which covers my sin and makes me white as snow. Please help me to live in your grace as I move forward in my relationships as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, or friend.
In Jesus' name,

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