“Forgive me Jesus, I messed up again”, I think I say this about 10 times a day…and if I’m being honest, I should say it more often. It is said that confession is good for the soul, and I can always feel a lifting of the soul when I admit that I am in need of another dose of grace.
So, what does it mean when we say we need to confess something? We all have some ideas of what it looks like. I am not going to talk about the theologies surrounding confession and different religious practices, for or against. What I need to talk about is my own personal experience with confession.
After spending decades hiding behind an image, when I finally confessed my innermost thoughts to a therapist, I thought I would explode. (I wrote about the therapy experience in other blogs.) The relief that comes from telling someone else your secrets is one of the most cathartic experiences one can have. So, what does it look like long term then? Some of us go to a therapist for years, confessing to them, but still hiding behind a perfect facade to everyone else. It’s probably why therapists will always have clients. They are a safe haven for truth, if one gets to the real nitty gritty. Just like going to a priest, people are looking for absolution with a therapist.
Why then confess our sins and bad behaviour to anyone else?
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. (James 5:16 NLT)
Wow…because it bring healing? Isn’t that what we are all looking for on some level? Prayer and healing. So many times we think that “if only so-and-so could see who I truly am, they wouldn’t like me,” and that fills us with fear. But when we go through the confession, and the tears, and we can see the tears in someone else’s eyes, that becomes a point where the healing can start. In the healing process there is sometimes more pain involved, and the pain brings us to our knees, before Jesus…the ultimate healer.
There is also a level of vulnerability that come when we tell “regular” folk about our failings. It can take friendships to different levels. Being open with one another brings the barriers down. It opens hearts, it brings intimacy, and we all crave these deep intimate relationships.
“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
“You too?” Think about it, what healing words…