confession. something that we as a church stink at. how do i know? because our church is filled today with two kinds of people:
1. people who are just like the older brother in luke 15 and they think they never sin, or their sin is not nearly as bad as your sin.
2. people who are like the younger brother in luke 15 and finally come home, knowing they have sinned, but they do not know how to be free of the guilt and shame and so they eventually fall back into the sin.
it the first group of people confessed their sin (to god and to others) they would not sit in judgement of others. they would see that, just like paul they are the worst of sinners (not were, but are - present tense). they would realize that their sin nailed jesus to the cross too. this clan of people, who i can identify with, do no see themselves as in need of forgiveness, so they have not experienced the depths of christ's love. they have not sinned like the others and think they have earned favor with god and therefore, easily place themselves in the judgement seat to look down on those of you who cannot keep it together or who do not work as hard as they do.
the second group of people, want to come home and run back to the father, but still find themselves stuggling because they have kept their sin a secret from others. they confess to god all the time and they are forgiven (1 John 1:9) but since they have not confessed and made amends to others, they can't seem to get out of this cycle. they are scared to tell other people (esp the first group of people) and they are so frustrated that they eventally give in.
if the church was good at confession and taught people what to do when they sin, what a different picture we would paint of our savior's love. what if you were able to take all the energy you put into covering up your junk, into confession and allowing the lord to change and heal your life?
the next two blog posts will talk about two kinds of confession and the necessity of both.