2010 to 2011: Taking the Risk of Confession

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Proverbs 28, James 5

I [HEART] NY

… but not for the reason that you may think. I do not love it for Broadway, Jean Georges, Saks or Tenjune. I love it for its people. New Yorkers are some of the most interesting, passionate, clever and successful people that I know [1]. Yet, these adventurous inhabitants can be quite intimidating. After all, they exude success and rarely show weakness.

MY CONFESSION

In 2010, however, I admitted weakness and found healing. One summer night, at a rooftop party downtown, I unexpectedly had a conversation with two friends that led to my confession of a hidden sin. Yet, it was not easy. I was ashamed and embarrassed, wondering if they would still love me after they knew that I was unattractive. Without hesitation, however, they embraced me and encouraged me that, although it was good to take sin seriously, it was also good to take grace seriously: “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” [2], and “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” [3].

I WILL RISE

In 2011, I want to confess sins regularly and wisely. I want to be a person who admits that life is messy and that, although I long to live in a way that pleases my Lord, I oftentimes miss the mark. I want to be a part of a community that recognizes that, through confession and the redeeming work of Christ, we can defeat the Accuser’s power to paralyze us and kill our faith: “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have sinned against Him, I will bear the LORD’s wrath, until He pleads my case and upholds my cause. He will bring me out into the light; I will see His righteousness” [4].

PRAYER

Lord, You take our sin and Your grace seriously. You love to expose sin through confession because You love for us to live in the light, where we can be authentic and vulnerable. Show us where we are hurting ourselves and Your kingdom by keeping things private that we should be confessing, e.g., a grudge or a failure or a habit? Give us hope and joy in Your healing. Amen.

_______________________________________


[1] In his essay, Here Is New York, E.B. White wrote of the beauty of the composition of New York: “There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter–the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last–the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh yes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company … “  |  [2] Proverbs 28:13 ESV  |  [3] James 5:16 NIV  |  [4] Micah 7:8-9 NIV

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3 Comments to “2010 to 2011: Taking the Risk of Confession”

  1. thanks, Bethany—good stuff.

  2. I am encouraged so much more by my friends who are “real” in their struggle to be more like Him. Thanks for the reminder of our need to walk in grace and truth before Him and others.

  3. I totally agree. I think that we grow in the context of honest community because we know – deep inside of us – that we are sinners and weak. At least, that is true for me. I have a sign on my bedroom mirror that reads, “I am a great sinner, but Christ is a great Savior,” to remind me of my sin and His grace.

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