Confession Exchange Rate
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”- 1 John 1:9
One of the more popular Thanksgiving traditions that I have participated in and seen practiced is for those gathered at the table to go around sharing about the people and things they are thankful for. Each year when we come to that time before the turkey is carved and passed out, I am hoping for two things: 1) That I am not the first one to share (I like time to process my pending proclamation); and; 2) That what I offer up does not come across as too generic, corny, or religious (spiritual is good, but not some sort of code talk is no bueno). I want my remarks to be clear, genuine and meaningful, coming straight from the heart.
The tradition of Thanksgiving sharing is something that I feel we would do better to put into a more regular routine throughout the course of our day, our many conversations, and even in our faith. I know I need to do a better job of telling people how much I appreciate them, asking someone how they are doing and/or how their day has gone, and being able to express what I feel to others. And when it comes to my relationship with God, I know the priority and power that comes through prayers of CONFESSION. In our talks with God we can express the immense gratitude we have for His love and faithfulness. We can acknowledge the places where we feel alone, afraid, or uncertain. We can let go of a person or a relationship that is causing pain and weariness. And, yes, we can honestly and humbly repent for thoughts, words, and actions that are marred by sin.
The power of confession is much like taking in a fresh breath of air. Even the other night, as a situation was weighing heavy on my heart, I found myself taking time to allow the Holy Spirit to do some faith inventory. It was in this time of looking back on a course of events, that I found myself declaring over and over, “You can do better!” Trust me, this was not self-condemning talk, but rather my in-the-moment version of confession for a place I had fallen short. Listen to the way David speaks of this type of spiritual examination in Psalm 139:23-24, “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.”
True Confession is of the upmost importance because it allows any area LACKING in our lives, that does not LINE UP with God’s Word, or those destructive LIES that we have listened to, believed, and even followed down a rabbit hole, to be exchanged for God’s forgiveness, healing, and truth. The act of confession for any cracked foundation or corrupt attitude/action is necessary for us to be cleansed by the Lord. I wonder at times if we take a more psychological approach to what we think and say, from the standpoint of simply REPLACING negative thoughts and talk with positive ones? Again, we do want to get from a place of darkness to light, from a place of deception to truth, from a place of hate to love, from a place of impurity to purity. But by only replacing the thoughts or words, and not repenting from them, all we have done is cover over them and allow them to coexist. True confession allows for a transaction whereby the Spirit conquers all that rises within us and against us that is contrary to the Lord! 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” The key to confession is to first to address the present state by asking for God’s help, touch, and grace over it. Then after the cleansing from those things, we can invite in a new way of thinking, believing, talking, relating to others, and behaving.
Here are some Scriptures that can help you bring SHARING from the Dinner Table on Thanksgiving into a Daily practice of liberty:
James 5:15- “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
2 Chronicles 7:14- “If My people who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Acts 3:19- “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 7:10- “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret…”
Matthew 10:32- “Whoever acknowledges Me before others, I will acknowledge before My Father in heaven.”
Psalm 32:5-6- “Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore, let all the faithful pray to You while You may be found.”