We are all sinners. We live in the shadow of our first parents, Adam and Eve and therefore cannot escape the wages of sin, which is death. I think when we know God provided us with the perfect solution for our redemption, by sending His own Son, Jesus, to carry the burden of sin to the grave upon His own shoulders, it lightens the load considerably. What greater love is that?
Unfortunately, confessing our sins is not an easy task, especially when we do so in the corporate fellowship of our church. The fact that we do not list our various sins publicly has to do with guilt and shame. I recently read a book about a young mother who had serious doubts about her ability to parent properly. She was a single mom with several children. She felt guilty for not being the picture-perfect mother. She didn’t feel she as fulfilling the job as she should. The guilt dominated her thinking to the point of depression, which led to neglecting some of the parenting obligations she held in high esteem. Eventually she was able to express her feelings at a Bible study with other moms who had the same issues. It opened the door to conversation which was beneficial to all.
On the other hand, I also recently heard a pastor talk about opening up to his men’s Bible study about a past sin that truly troubled him. Even though he had walked away from that sin and turned his life to focus on Jesus, the guilt he carried was a heavy burden. Hoping to spur others to discuss some of their own issues proved fruitless and the experiment went nowhere. Was it because of the differences in men and women? Was it because the men didn’t feel any guilt? Were the women over-reacting? Any number of reasons could contribute to the outcome of these situations, but maybe talking with someone else about a feeling of guilt or shame carries weakness with it.
When we talk directly to the Creator who already knows our every sinful deed, we’re actually confronting the One who we’ve sinned against. He is the One we’re accountable to but confessing a wrongdoing to another human being seems much more difficult for us. Maybe that’s why so many therapists are needed today. With all the guilt being laid upon us – the shaming that goes on in our world, the bullying, the feelings of inadequacy, we are bound to feel overwhelmed.
There is healing in confession. Knowing that God has already forgiven us is a great reminder of our relationship with Him and the gift He has so bountifully blessed us with. Guilt will remain. We take that guilt to Him along with our confession. He knows our hearts better than any other being and He still loves us. When He looks at those hearts, He only sees His Son and the “paid in full sticker” He has purchased for our sins.
We will never have picture-perfect lives while we live here, but we do have an eternity of perfection waiting for us in Paradise. At the start of a new week, remember that you are loved by God more than any human being can love you. Walk with Him every day and you will receive hope for the future.