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).

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10 Responses to “Called to Confess”

  1. gregshk May 1, 2012 at 2:01 PM #

    Hello Stacey
    I love and appreciate your transparency…I was humbled on Sunday being privileged to hear Tim confess and preach on envy.
    And just for the record I have just witnessed our father glory through what you wrote.
    Love and miss you.
    Shunk

  2. Kim Shay May 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM #

    Your experience in front of your computer, contemplating a blog post, and your feelings are occasions I have had over and over again. The comparison game; it leads us down all sorts of unpleasant paths. I, too, have been pricked by Tim’s posts about envy. It’s a good kind of pain; I need it. Thank you for your wonderful honesty in this post.

  3. Chip Raybon May 2, 2012 at 9:24 AM #

    This is a powerful message- rightly spoken to me at just the right time. Thank you for your honesty. I needed to hear these words today.

  4. Roxylee May 2, 2012 at 9:24 AM #

    Thank you for shining the light on one of my sins. I’d all but stopped trying to write blogs and songs because I was looking at others who expressed themselves lin a way I felt inferior to and who played their instruments with so much more skill. I got to feeling totally mediocre and figured why waste my time, when so many others did everything so much better? Your blog, and Tim’s, point out the real sins in my heart- pride and envy. Why should a worm be envious of a lion? Worms don’t seek to show off their strengths or weaknesses; they are content and don’t have any desire to compete with a lion.
    So now I will repent, crawl on, and pray for God’s grace to keep me from looking to the right or the left. ps- I like your straightforward approach more than if you used flowery, poetic prose. 🙂

  5. Robert McIntyre - The Old Guy May 2, 2012 at 9:38 AM #

    Sunday I taught the 73rd Psalm. I stumbled through it wishing I could entrance my class of old guys. Your blog shot me down big time! Asaph had a bad day and now I joined him because of your blog. Thanks! The Old Guy

  6. hisgracemygrowth May 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM #

    You wrote exactly what I face almost every time I sit down to write a post. Thank you for this great reminder to bring it to God!

  7. Jan Smith May 2, 2012 at 11:44 AM #

    Amen

  8. LeeAnn Cheeley May 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM #

    Not everyone loves flowery, poetic language full of metaphors. Unless the metaphors are spot-on in making an illustration, I find them annoying. It makes me think the author is full of himself/herself…prideful, actually! I don’t know you, but I want to encourage you: Different readers enjoy different styles of writing. Be who you are in your writing because if God gave you something to say, He will use how you say it for His glory.

  9. Pault May 3, 2012 at 11:56 AM #

    Any outward confession that is wise to make must first begin with confession to ones self. “Confesss” as used in I Jn 1:9 means “to say the same” implying that the first step in “confession” is to truly agree with what God has said about the wrong we did. After that we need to make things right with those we wronged – not in a confessional booth to one who has no power to forgive, or to a congregation that may not need to smell our dirty laundry – unless of course they already do. The guilty conscience can only be cleansed by a faith that embraces the effacacious work of Christ on the cross for our salvation, and our continued fellowship with God. We must remember that a temporarily relieved conscience is not necessairly a cleansed conscience.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Identification is Not Confession | Julian Freeman - May 2, 2012

    […] flat, that doesn’t fix my problem. It just helps me begin the process of fixing the problem. My wife Stacey’s post today was helpful for me as she pointed this out. I think far too often I find the flat tires in my life […]

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