Week 6 • Carol Burge
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Many of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about confession unless it is how someone needs to confess their wrongdoing to us. However, one of the paths to righteousness is our openness to acknowledging our own sin and confessing it to God and others.
In times of confession, we need to remember God’s deep love and his acceptance of us, just as we are. We need to remember the power of His work on the cross and the freedom and restoration confession brings. It’s much easier to privately acknowledge our sin to God, it is harder to confess our sin to another person and seek reconciliation. How open are we to the gentle prompting of God when we need to confess to another person?
Here is a short story found in The God Who Comes by Carlo Carretto. He wrote this when he was a member of a community in Algeria called The Little Brothers of the Gospel:
In our community the other day, there wasn’t much coffee. Coffee does me good down here in the desert…it helps me…I am old. I was worried about not having any, about spending a few hours feeling dull and weak, and so—without perceiving the evil I was doing—I went into the kitchen before the others and drank up all that was left.
Afterward, after suffering all day and making my confession, I thought in shame of my selfishness, of the ease with which I had excluded my two brothers from those black, bitter remains. The difference between me and Jesus is right here, in an affair that seems simple but isn’t at all; after a whole lifetime it is still there to make you think. Jesus would have left the coffee for his brothers; I excluded my brothers.
No, it isn’t easy to live with hearts like ours: let us confess it.
Lord, unconfessed sin is heavy and we don’t want to carry it. Help us. Give us the courage to confess to you and others when we are not who we want to be. If someone confesses to us, help us to forgive.
- A wiling spirit to confess our sins to God and each other as we lead our imperfect lives.
- A spirit of humility among the delegates to the CRC Synod in June.
- Sisters and brothers at Immanuel Reformed Church (a Camelot Community Partner)
Notice when you are minimizing your own sin and magnifying the sin of another. As you open yourself to confession, remember that you are held in God’s unconditional and stable love.