I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ Luke 15:18-19 NIV
In the summer of 1981 I worked as a summer missionary in Lake Placid, New York just a year and a half after the Winter Olympics. One night I was struggling with some personal issues and sought out our house mother, Carmen, to help me out. She gave me some milk and cookies and said, “Before you say anything, is everything okay between me and thee?” Because if it is not, that’s where we need to start. If everything IS okay between me and thee, I am ready to listen.” That is one of the best takeaways from the summer
When our hearts are heavy because of our sinfulness – deceit, pride, anger, jealousy, envy, lies, or lust – confession is the doorway out of the mess. Before we look at elements of a healthy confession, let’s look at the benefits.
Benefits of Confession
- Confess your sins one to another that you may be healed. James 5:16
- I sought the LORD, and he answered me; and delivered me from all my fears. Ps 34:4
- He takes your burden. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
- Totally cleansed, like as in 100 percent. 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
From our verse involving the prodigal son we see the elements of a healthy confession.
- Get up. Desire to leave where you have been. “I will set out” The term means to arise from a place to go to another place. The prodigal was eating pig slop when he realized the need to change. What area do you need to leave behind?
- Return. Movement to return – “Go back to my father”. The ground underneath your feet has to change. You can’t stay where you have been messing up and complete a healthy repentance. Movement is an essential part of confession.
- Speak it. Verbalize the confession – “Say to him”. Ownership of your failure is realized when spoken. Speaking is the catalyst to engage your will to accept forgiveness.
- Get right with God. Ask forgiveness from God “sinned against heaven” The blood of Jesus cleanses you from all sin. Just-as-if-i’ed never sinned.
- Get right with others. Ask for forgiveness from offended person “sinned against you”. Sin involves people. Maybe you have to ask forgiveness from someone else OR you need to forgive yourself.
- Monitor your heart. Brokenness and humility “I am no longer worthy”. This is more than words. God sees the heart and is never fooled by a confession to lighten the sentence. He knows when you are broken and contrite. He pushes down the proud, but looks for the one who humbles himself.
There you have the elements of a healthy confession. Get up, Return, Speak it, Ask from God, Make it right with others, Monitor your Broken heart.
On this Monday Mantra Blessing of Confessing, thanks be to God, He has provided a way for us to empty our baggage of sin. He even helps remind us where we try to keep it hidden Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.Psalm 139:23-24 NIV
May you have the courage and strength to arise and get away from where you have been. May you receive the blessings of having all of your sin forgiven. May you feel the joy of being clean before your Father, God.
Blessings Love y’all