Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I Am Sinful... But Wait, There's More...

Confessing sinfulness seems in vogue among Christian leaders & Christ-followers at large, doesn't it? It sort of rings with the humble nobility we aspire to as "successful" disciples... or maybe, in all its non-specificity it smacks more of false humility. Hmmm.

What if instead of confessing our sinfulness, we actually confessed our specific sins to one another as it says in James 5:16? How embarassing. How ignoble. How... obedient.

Let me take this even further into the realm of the uncomfortable. What if instead of admitting we were "less than fully honest" we just said we lied & to whom. What if instead of "tempted to gossip" we just said we've been slandering so-and-so behind their back because of our own jealousy or insecurity? What if instead of "struggling with impure thoughts" men simply confessed they've been looking at pornography?

I, John Lynch, am sinful. But lest any be tempted to admire me for my courage to admit such weakness, let me add that just in the last two weeks...
  • I've lied to my wife
  • I've broken trust with someone who shared their story with me in confidence
  • I've entertained pride in this ministry (even listening to my own sermons several times in the name of "self-evaluation" & "self-improvement" ... reasons only partially true)
  • And with all this (the tip of the iceberg) I have also had judgmental attitudes on others' sin!

Not very noble, is it? And I'm not even giving you the real specifics that I would tell someone in person (this is about as specific as I should get on the world-wide-web).

It is shameful, humiliating, ugly stuff. And it's what we're called to confess to each other... not as an egocentric attempt to wallow in our dirty laundry, but as part of the repenting process necessary to our personal spirituality - in which all aspects are Community affairs since we are "members of one another" (Eph 4:25).

This is a big deal for me. Maybe there's something in this for you too. I hope so.

Psalm 32... How blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the one to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"; and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found...

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