This blog is another segment to the “True Confessions” blog. If you haven’t read the first two blogs, don’t worry, as each is a stand-alone piece but, each blog adds another perspective to the topic of confession.
Sitting at the table across from me was a well-dressed woman, sitting alone, who made a joke with the server which made me laugh. We turned to each other and began to make small talk. The conversation was just small talk until the question of “what do you do?” Then she (Jessica) was extremely excited that my husband was a Messianic Rabbi and she asked many questions about our ministry. She proceeded to tell me that her church was very supportive of Israel and of Messianic Judaism. Then she told me that she was head of evangelistic outreach and in her capacity of this position she had held many bible studies. She then looked down and started her confession. After the last two women that I had met on this cruise who had confessed to me (read previous two blogs) I knew that the Lord was creating an opportunity for Jessica to confess what was heavy on her heart. Jessica told me her story. Four years earlier, her husband had died of cancer which had been devastating for her. Now, four months ago her only son had died. She sat with tears in her eyes as she recounted the loss, loneliness, isolation, and inability to function. Honestly, I didn’t know what to say. It is so very difficult when there is loss. She stated that she didn’t know if she could ever get in front of people again and teach the Word. The passion that she had always had for teaching was being overtaken by the fear that she wouldn’t be able to control her emotions, that she would cry in front of her audience. The trip that she was on was a way to avoid going back to her position. I encouraged her to wait until she felt strong enough to return, and to return when she felt that the Lord would want her to teach but, I also warned her.
When Jessica confessed to me and stated that, “she didn’t want to cry in front of the people” I realized that this was the third reason why people don’t confess their sins/problems. The third reason is pride. Now, before you say that I’m being heartless because this poor woman was dealing with such loss, let’s look at the definition of a person demonstrating pride. One definition of pride is an individual who shifts ultimate confidence from God to themselves. Jessica was a leader in her community, head of evangelism, and a teacher of the bible. Pride in us hides the truth about ourselves, especially about sins and weaknesses. Look at Proverbs 16:2, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” It is easier for us to not allow people to know us, and by doing so we can appear perfect, strong, and powerful. I warned Jessica that she was missing an amazing opportunity. When she felt that it was time to return back to her ministry, she should return and be candid about her loss. What everyone forgets is that every community and every individual craves connection and you cannot really have connection without being authentic. When you are authentic and are able to tell your story (your confession) it creates bonds with others that strengthen one another. When you tell your story of your pain of loss others can say, “I too am dealing with that kind of pain”! In deceiving others about your condition, you rob God of accomplishing great things in your life and in others.
In these last three blogs we have discussed about the fear of condemnation, shame and, in today’s blog, pride. These are some of the things that will stop you from confessing your sins to the Father. As we approach the High Holy Days, in just a few days, it is especially important to realize that this is an important step to finding that refuge that we have spoken about in God. Whether you are a believer or not these three steps are the steps to take to find your refuge in God:
- Ask God what is stopping you from confessing your sin. Is it a fear of condemnation? Is it shame? Is it pride? Ask God to bring conviction upon you for your sin/sins and to illuminate each item. Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
- Once the wall comes down and you can confess, then boldly confess to the Father. Psalm 38:17-18 says, “For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.”
- When you confess your sins, it is important to note that our God and our Messiah are not fickle. When something is written in the Word it is true and doesn’t change. So, when in 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That’s the end of it, He will forgive us and we will be cleansed.
As we walk into the High Holy Days may we remember His faithfulness!