Monday, April 9, 2012

SinnED... or SinnING?

True confession is hard. 

It's much easier for us to talk about things in the past tense than it is for us to admit when we're currently struggling with things. It's safer... we feel less judged...we feel stronger. Only... a lot of times we're just liars. 

Think about it...
How often do you talk to people when you're in the midst of sin vs. either waiting until time has passed in order to present it as a past struggle, or actually just lying about the time frame of things?

I've had people avoid me for long bouts of time because they didn't want me to ask them about the stuff going on their lives. It was much easier for them to wait... and wait...and finally come out of something before they were able to tell me what had been going on. Ever done that? 

I have. 

Just the other day I was talking to a girl about the importance of confession and accountability and how it only works if you want it to. I was talking to her about being specific with her confession and being willing to admit that her struggles were a present thing and not a thing of the past. As soon as we were done talking, I felt conviction as my hypocritical self had been hiding a few current struggles from my closest friends. Immediately I went and confessed. 

I hate this. 
I hate that we talk a lot about freedom in Christ, and we talk a lot about how grace covers us, and we talk a lot about how we love people no matter what... but we don't always believe these things. 

We don't always believe that freedom actually exists... we don't always believe that His grace is sufficient... we don't always think people mean it when they say they love us, especially if they find out our deepest sources of shame. We choose to believe the lie.  

I think another thing might even be that we don't want to confess sin in the midst of sin because we don't actually want to change. We like our sin (and we simultaneously hate it), so as long as we can present our sin as past sin, we don't have people always checking in, always asking us about it. We're free to continue living in it until we feel conviction heavily and need to confess again.

I really do believe that freedom can come in confession. I believe it comes when we are truly honest about our sin, when we are truly honest about how much we're struggling with something... when we're willing to even be specific about our sin. It's one thing to tell a friend that you struggle with lust... but it's another thing to tell them that you're fantasizing about a specific someone and longing to be with them constantly. If I know the latter, I know more of how to specifically pray for you and I know the questions to ask you. 

We have to want it, though. 
As I've thought a lot lately about what it really changes people, I've come to the conclusion that people have to want to change themselves. At that point they're then willing to do whatever it takes to make the changes-- whether that means full surrender, begging the Lord, asking others for help, seeking counseling, putting boundaries/restrictions on their life... whatever it takes

But, I can't make you want to change. 
Do you want to? 
Are you ready to? 
Does it matter enough to you? 

If so, I urge you to start with confession. With the Lord and with close friends (of the same gender) that you can trust. Be willing to tell them the things that you are struggling with, not just the things that you've struggled with. Be willing to get specific. 

Walk in the freedom it brings and do whatever it takes to keep walking in that. 
Walk in the fullness of the things you say you believe. 
And be willing to love others and walk with them through their current struggles, too. 

Go confess whatever it is you know you need to. 
No more delaying. 

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