Confession is a beautiful thing. It brings healing. It restores relationships.Confession humbly
and admits them vulnerably.
Confession is an art. It must be practiced to be mastered. Every insult and rumor and back-stab committed brings both a consequence and an opportunity. The consequence will change but the opportunity remains the same. The chance to confess.No pretenses.
This multi-part series will present some personal and corporate confessions I’d like to make.
Personal Confessions: This is my open admission of sin (missing the mark).
Corporate Confessions: This is where I will make confessions of where the tribe/circles/communities I am a part of sin.
By making these public confessions I hope to begin to diminish any repetition of these shortcomings. Then I will take strategic steps to find the path away from the problem and towards sanctification.
Lindsay Lohan, Bill Clinton, Catholic church leadership, your boss. What do all these people have in common? Probably nothing. What is common, however, is that you and I have made a snap judgment about them in one way or another.
Why can't they get their life in line? You're suppose to be a leader and role model! I would never do that. If I were in their position I would...
As quick as the name is spoken our mind takes us to a imaginary place of superiority wherein we are judge and they are spectacle.
Here’s what happened to me yesterday. I looked out my window and saw a neighbor who is old enough to live on his own. In fact, there are quite a few neighbors near my age who still reside in their parent’s homes (post-college, mind you). I brazenly declared, to my sister, inside, like a coward, “Golly, when are they going to grow up and get their own place to live!”
Just revisiting those words makes me sick. It’s just ugly. My wife, sister, and I discussed my pious attitude this morning. I felt shame and guilt. I openly admitted to them that I had sinned and needed to change my attitude. More than changing my attitude I need a mind, soul, and heart transformation.
I don’t have any sort of relationship with that neighbor I judged. I met them once, and in that one introduction all I had learned was they had graduated and lived with their parents. And yet there I was, an outspoken Christian, sitting inside my home stewing in judgment, blanketing myself with self-righteousness.
The princess bride has a specific scene that comes to mind when I look back at actions…Take a view, won’t you?
That’s how I felt after realizing I had elevated myself above another person who was my neighbor.I felt like…
Then Jesus said…
When Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself I’m fairly certain he did not intend for me to be judgmental. But I was. And here’s the worst part…
I lived with my parents until I was 22. While attending college. I didn’t pay rent. I ate their food, and drank their water, and used their resources. Sure I did chores to help out around the house, and was involved in my parents church serving in a capacity that was a blessing for my dad, as pastor. But the fact of the matter is that I judged a human for doing what I HAD DONE!
No wonder people think Christians are hypocrites! We are! It’s terrible, inexcusable, and inadmissible that we would, that I would, cast the stone at a person for living how I had.
And yet we, as the church, are so awestruck that people don’t want to come to our events or services. Gandhi spoke profoundly on the dichotomy between Christians and Christ when he said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
This is where we take the initiative to fix the image of Christ in us and the bride of Jesus, the church. First personally then corporately. Our first move is repentance. First before God, which I do privately. Then before mankind, by living differently. In disposition, body language, attitude, speech, and conduct. I am not going to walk to my neighbor’s to explain this misadventure to them and ask forgiveness. But the next time I look out my window I hope to look at those millennials living with their parents with love, acceptance, and understanding.
Jesus had an excellent teaching on the subject of judgment in his sermon on the mount: See Matthew 5-7. He said,
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Maybe for a day I’ll walk around with a piece of wood to think about my actions. Maybe I’ll keep it with me always. A 6 ft. long 2×4 in hand would be a great, and constant, reminder to not be someone’s judge.
Jesus carried a piece of wood one time for me.
Then he told me to pick up my piece of wood daily.
It’s hard to throw stones when your hands are full of wood.