Archive | 1:46 PM

Called to Confess

1 May

I sat down at the computer last night to write a blog post. Nothing came to me. Well, nothing in the form of a blog post anyway. Something else came, though. It crept in slowly, cautiously, masked and disguised as something far less ugly than what was actually hidden beneath.

I’d just read a couple of amazing blog posts by a dear sister who has an ability to write and convey her thoughts and biblical truth in such a beautiful and poetic way, and although I was deeply uplifted by her words, I found myself becoming reluctant to write because my own ability is inferior to hers. She uses metaphors and language that really allows you to feel with her and feel what she’s intending to say. It’s like the words come to life! I thought, “Why can’t I write like that? Why can’t I use images like raging waters and other aspects of nature to bring my writing to life? Why can’t I find better descriptive words? Why doesn’t anything come more easily to me? Do I even do anything really well?”

I closed the computer and went to bed, attempting to preach truth to myself, while trying to understand exactly what was going on in my restless, chaotic heart. It was as though the winds of my heart were swirling in anticipation of an imminent, ominous storm. Winds of my heart swirling? What does that even mean?  Sigh. Strike that attempt at a metaphor (or is it a simile), from the record.

Anyhow, back on track. I woke this morning and decided I would just be content with not writing today and it’s okay that I’m not that great at anything.  I’m just struggling with envy, covetousness, and pride. Bad. I labelled it, and I moved on.

For some reason though, I still felt unsettled, a slight tugging at my conscience.

Well, I opened my facebook for a few minutes this morning while the kids were playing and I saw that Tim Challies is writing a couple of posts on The Lost Sin of Envy. Great. He’ll probably articulate all my thoughts way more eloquently than I can ever hope to.  I decided to give the post for today a quick read, figuring it would resonate with some of my current struggles.

And it did. And that feeling of unsettledness that I was feeling started stirring even more. Tim paints an incredibly ugly, yet accurate picture of envy and as I read, my convictions grew. I had recognized pride in my life, but somehow in my identification of it, I forgot its vileness, its disdainfulness. When I looked at my envy, my pride and my covetousness, it was almost palatable. I gave it the right name, but that’s about it. I wasn’t recognizing it for what it actually was.

I’ve always prided myself (how ironic) on being able to identify sin in my life, but so often I forget that I need to confess it. It’s as though I’ve come to equate identification of sin with confession of sin. As I read Tim’s biblical description of envy, my patient, longsuffering Father reminded me that I needed to go to Him.

I, so often, forget the value or need for confession. I’ve made my sins acceptable, not recognized them for what they really are, and I know that I’m forgiven for all of them anyway. Confession can therefore seem almost incidental—the mere dotting of an “i”.  Obviously this is patently untrue, but I know that I definitely minimize its value and necessity.

It is at the foot of the cross, as I confess my sin, where my heart engages with my God and I become reminded afresh that He is God, and I am not. It is where I am able to recall the depth and breadth and height of his love, where I see His holiness, and I once again long for His glory. As I start to confess, the Holy Spirit works, melting that layer of ice that has begun to encompass my heart. I begin to realize how offensive my sin is, how much grace I’ve received and how much more I need. I remember that I’m not called to identify my sin, I’m called to confess it, and then to mourn over it and then to battle it. To the death.

Oh God, give me grace.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).