May 1, 2007

The importance of confession

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)

Somehow, I missed the confession part of the Gospel. Every time I'd sin, the first thing I'd do is feel sad and guilt-stricken, thinking, "Well, God's mercy is new every morning." I haven't the slightest idea how I missed that while God's mercy is indeed new every morning, it's also available at every moment.

From the time of God's saving grace in my life, I've been forgiven for every single sin I've committed and will commit. And forgetting to confess it is another sin covered by His blood.
But even though my sins have been covered by Jesus' sacrifice, that does not null the importance of confession.

I'd been having the hardest time falling asleep because of anxiety issues. This has been an ongoing problem for more than year (of course, the problem that I'm highly addicted to caffeine doesn't help either). A couple weeks ago, I shared with a sister in Christ this problem, and she said, "Samantha, have you been confessing your anxiety?"

Really. What an idiot I can be. I had not realized it was a sin at all. In fact, I would sit and cry all night wondering why God wouldn't take away my anxiety. I would pray and pray and pray, but never actually confessing that my fear was actually a lack of trust in Christ.

I love how the LORD works. Even though it took a year to find this out, it taught me a great lesson. And the amazing thing is that that night I confessed my fear to Him, I fell asleep without the aide of sleeping medicine. And He also healed my anxiety.

So now, I'm a confessing machine. That stupid comment I said? I confess it. My road rage? I confess it. My OCD problems? I confess it. Confession! Ah, what a breath of fresh air! The LORD transforms us in all these situations and the best way to learn is to actually be put through trials. That is where we grow. That is where we see the Hand of the LORD. And I am glad to be in His fold. Praise the LORD.


Laurie said...

To true..Confession "is" good for the soul.
But I experienced something over the weekend, I was blessed and humbled to be a part of our church's Woman's Retreat over the weekend and was given the opportunity to teach a class titled, "How to study the Bible". This is where I was humbled. :)
But the doors opened for opportunities to serve the woman in varied ways. I was so burdened with the grief many woman deal with in the area of "Condemnation". Yes..they said they acknowledged and confessed their sins, but it appears that guilt overwhelms so many of these woman..probably many believers at that. Do we as believers act as advocates for the devil and cast judgement when we should leave the job of "coviction" to the Holy Spirit? When we say, "I forgive you", do we really?? Or do we hold on to offenses and be the one to remind others of their sins??

2 Corinthians 2: 5-11
But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree--in order not to say too much--to all of you. Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, 7 so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

It is easy for us to say we forgive...but those words are hard to believe if they are not followed with the act of comfort.

just some thoughts..

Much love,

Stan said...

Many of us have forgotten confession. We tend to think, "I'm forgiven, so why bother?" Why? Because we're told to. Because it is good for us. The other aspect of confession that almost nobody remembers is "confess your sins to one another" (James 5:16). "One to another"?? Who are we kidding! We've got a reputation to maintain!! Come on! Yeah, perhaps, but that one is commanded as well.

Oh, by the way, would "OCD" be considered a sin? I mean, if there is an actual problem outside of your control, is it sin? Or are you considering OCD something that you should STOP? (Just wondering. Not like I need an answer.)

ann_in_grace said...

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
(Jam 4:7-10)

Thank you for this reminder. There is too little confessing in my own sanctification.

Samantha said...

Laurie: "It is easy for us to say we forgive...but those words are hard to believe if they are not followed with the act of comfort."

I am very guilty of this very thing. I often tell people I forgive them, but secretly hold a grudge against them. Another thing to confess, isn't it! :D

Stan: OCD in and of itself isn't "sinful" it's my behavior associated with it. For example, if I sit down to read and see that the closet door is partially opened (even just a crack) I get mad and I can't read until I fix it. Or getting really crabby and mad when I come home and everything is messy. It causes me to have A LOT of anxiety and unjustified anger. :D So, kinda like the smoking thing, it's not a sin necessarily, but what I do because of it that is sinful!!

Ann: We all need reminding. I have to remind myself of the Gospel every single moment of every single day! (And very often I don't!)

That's why we have a body of believers, isn't it. God is wise. :D

Laurie said... need at least four kids to help you get over needing everything in it's place.. lol

Anonymous said...

Samantha: I saw this post and am concerned about something that you have written about OCD. Just like you said, it is not sinful to have OCD, but having to follow through with those obsessions and feeling anger and anxiety is in no way sinful, either. I have been suffering from this disease for my entire life and I am very informed about it. It worries me that you think your compulsions are sinful. They are simply a symptom of a disease that is extremely hard to beat. If someone had a stomache bug, would it be sinful to throw up? If someone had cancer, would it be sinful for their cells to grow and divide at an unnatural rate? Part of OCD is feeling the unnessesary need to confess. It seems to me that you feel you need to confess your OCD symptoms, even though you are doing nothing wrong. When, you have finally confessed them, you feel enlightened and so much better, but the truth of the matter is, it is simply OCD trying to trick you into thinking that your compulsions are sinful. Feeling the need to confess to God is an extremely common symptom of OCD. OCD is a disease that sits in your mind and twists many of your thoughts, actions, and judgement. It is forceful, and much more powerful than someone who has little to no experience fighting OCD. Fighting some of the symptoms you may have are impossible (literally) without treatment. Consider meeting with a CBT therapist and reading books to inform yourself about OCD.

Hang in there! God wants you to get better!

Anonymous said...

Hi, me again! I just wanted to add that it is very common for people to think OCD is their fault, but don't worry. It's not. I've had a lot of people getting angry and annoyed at me because of my compulsions, but they simply don't understand and are uninformed.

Just wanted to add that:)