"[...] so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’"
It’s interesting that both the Old and New Testaments talk about confession in the twin contexts of openly declaring one’s sin, as well as openly declaring that God is one’s God. This is particularly thought-provoking in the aftermath of many well-known evangelical Christian leaders being ‘deposed’ for sexual sins or other abuses. What if it was normative for us Christians to confess our sins (and not just the sins we are more comfortable with) as often as we confess our belief in and allegiance to God?
What if we confessed our greed of time, money, and resources?
How often have we held back blessings that we could share with someone who needs love, to be listened to, or a home-cooked meal?
What about someone who needs us to spend a lot of time understanding current policies and laws so that we advocate for and vote in a way that brings life to our neighbors?
What if we confessed our lack of love and forgiveness?
Excluding situations of abuse (another conversation), are we willing to reach out to anyone who has hurt us or who frustrates us and treat them with kindness and dignity? If we are too hurt or overwhelmed to treat someone this way, are we seeking ways to heal?
Are we willing to do life, have deep conversations, and develop trust with people who don’t look like us, vote like us, believe like us, or love like us?
What if we confessed our laziness and apathy?
How hard do we try to discern between letting little wrongs go at work because someone needs grace and letting little wrongs go because we don’t want to get involved?
Confessing our sins alongside our dedication to God isn’t because God needs to hear these things from us. It’s for humans – ourselves and our neighbors. We need to hear our own voices, name what’s inside us, whether good or evil, in order to recognize it, and we need our community to hold us accountable and strengthen us as we face our realities together.
Art: Andrea Kraybill | Sunbeams | watercolor, matboard, 24k gold leaf | 2018
Practice: Dallas Willard on Confession
Listen and reflect on Dallas Willard's talk titled "Confession, Meditation, Rules of Life".