Day 30: Freedom to Confess
By Morgan Davis
Desert Stream Ministries Board Member
‘I realize I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.’ Romans 7:18-19 (MSG)
I learned to hide from a very early age, not the kind of hiding where you want to be found, just the hiding part. Being ‘found’ usually came with a lot of shame, the dehumanizing kind. As I grew older, I found more effective ways to hide, especially when it came to my broken sexuality. That tendency still baffles me to this day. I know that hiding leads me to dark places where my sin festers and grows. Hiding is not the answer.
Back in 1996, at my first Living Waters Training, I recall hearing these words from Andrew: ‘Let’s get free. Let’s be free! Let’s tell on ourselves and bring our sin into the light.’ I recall an exuberance in his delivery, which was frightening at the time: terrifying and truthful. He continued: ‘Confession leads to freedom from sin, freedom to live again.’
Confession means ‘to tell the truth.’ It’s not about being sorry (although that’s helpful). It’s also not about sharing excuses (not helpful). It’s just about speaking the truth. As I mature, am I more truthful? Can I be described as someone who tells the truth when I miss the mark of what I really want to do and be?
Avoiding pain and the shame of being known in my sin is always an option for me. Hiding. This is the broad-way that does not lead to freedom.
Years ago, a friend suggested a way to overcome sin together. We came up with a daily check-in routine that continues to this day. Yep, every morning, through a text, we quickly tell the truth about the preceding day. We may need a quick call for confession and prayer. Simple and profound.
Isn’t that a bit overzealous? Why so serious? Because of my beloved wife, Karen. I want to give her the best of myself, which never includes hiding. She is worthy of a husband who shows his love by pursuing the truth (with her and others) and chooses to be known in his weakness and sin.
Intimacy, forgiveness and love come through the narrow path of confession. Telling the truth on ourselves leads us to life. May we choose life. May we live in freedom.
‘Jesus, rouse the gift we are. Help us to attend to the treasure you summon from the trash. Free us from our constant faultfinding and free us for vestiges of paradise in our memories and in our lives today. We refuse the liar who tries to rewrite Eden out of our histories. Unite us to the home of our original dignity.’
‘Jesus, have mercy on us as Your Church. We have abused weaker members, including children, and protected ourselves. We have violated the most vulnerable. In Your mercy, free us to superabound with justice. Grant us Kingdom discernment and courage to reform ourselves. May our repentance grant us Kingdom authority to strengthen the weak, discipline violators, and restore the violated.’