I found myself praising God for my ability to live uncovered because of what Jesus has done for me this weekend. Over the last months i have become quite comfortable with confession. But in years past I had come to hate it. I mean who wants to own up about how incredibly horrible they really are on the inside and hey if we are going to be completely honest, how horrible we are on the outside as well.
Confessing used to signify weakness to me, which would signify my need for something. Honestly needing anything or anyone had become something that was quite horrifying and scary to me. Need would lead me to a place where I needed to have faith and trust, these were things that over the years I had been shown that I couldn't have in people. This belief put me a pretty uncomfortable place with my faith in Christ though. My lack of trust in others translated into a lack of trust in God. And since I had believed that lie, and because I did in fact still need a savior, believe it or not, I attempted to become my own. Welcome a whole truck load of self righteousness to the scene.
Now when you attempt to be your own savior a lot of things start to happen. You become hard, unforgiving of yourself and others, quick to think you are the only one who can fix things, quick to believe that others will be lost without you, judgmental, close minded, legalistic, quick to point out others faults, constantly reminding others of your worth, working to earn and to prove and all of this leads to burn-out, exhaustion and eventual self destruction. This happened to me. And you know none of the work I had set out to do brought me any closer to heaven. In fact I was pretty sure I might just not end up there. Grace was non-existent to me and really love was too.
I heard the gospel again this past year. In fact I hear it every single Sunday. And not only do I hear it on Sundays, I hear it all week. Many of my friends are very comfortable hearing my confession and not only are they comfortable hearing it but sometimes they pull it out of me. This used to signify a time of lashing and pointing out my faults. Although now we do talk through my faults, the time we spend confessing our sins are wrapped in the message of what God has given us in His son. The truth of what took place when Jesus died on the cross, and how little it has to do with us and our actions. And the overwhelming message that I am free to love others and myself because I am forgiven, and loved.
When we do this. When we take the time to allow God to remove our sin we are immediately freed from the emotions that come with it. We are free from shame, hatred and the general need to hide. This leaves much more room for love, peace, hope, humbleness and the ability to move forward towards the cross. We are immediately freed from the need to make our stories about us and are more compelled to give the glory to God.
I find I am in need of a constant bathing of the gospel. When I distance myself I find that it is easy to stray from what I truly believe and easier to absorb old lies. The more time I spend focusing on the truth the more I find that it is impossible for me to stifle it. Confession is an integral piece.
With the love of Christ we have got nothing to lose friends except our need for self.
Praise Jesus for the ability to live uncovered.
Walk in love friends-
Timothy Keller: "The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less. Gospel-humility is not needing to think about myself. Not needing to connect things with myself. It is an end to thoughts such as 'I'm in this room with these people, does that makes me look good? Do i want to be here?' True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self forgetfulness." ()