Now that’s an inspiring prayer if I’ve ever heard one. It reminds me of an “imaginary” conversation…that might sound a little familiar to some of you.
Husband: What’s wrong?
Husband: Really nothing, or nothing as in something?
Wife: It’s nothing. Just…it’s nothing.
Husband (groans): Okay, what is it really? What did I do?
Wife: Nothing. I mean, if you really don’t know, then it’s just nothing.
Husband: Good grief. I’m sorry. I don’t even know what I did, but I’m sorry, okay?!
What a heartfelt confession. I’m sure that the whole “I’m sorry for whatever I did, if in fact I did anything in the first place” bit really served to rectify that situation. Now the wife has her own set of issues in this “fake” conversation, but think about the husband’s response. No one wants to hear a half-hearted confession. But really, isn’t that often how we approach the throne of God?
“I’m sorry for all my sins…even though I don’t want to put the effort into thinking of even one specific sin that I’ve committed, and I really don’t want to acknowledge what that sin reveals about my character, and I don’t really have the time to see how that sin really offended Your holiness…so whatever I’ve done, I’m sorry and please forgive me.”
Confession is a lost discipline. We are largely ignorant of what true confession entails, why it is so important, how to even begin to do it. Confession is a crucial element of the victorious Christian life, but too often we (emphasis on the first-person pronoun here – I am foremost in this reproof) skim the issue of our present sin with the “catch-all” confession, which really is no confession at all.
In the next few posts, I want to look at some elements of confession. We will dive into 1 John 1:9 and break down each phrase used in that magnificent promise regarding confession. We will look at what true confession reveals about our hearts and see how confession and victory are inseparable. And we will see that repentance is the other side of confession. I hope the Lord blesses us with knowledge and wisdom regarding this topic, all for the goal of knowing Him more intimately!