I am a pretty cynical person – as is most of my generation – but you tell me something works for you and I’ll buy it. I don’t want to read the advertising surrounding a product, or the back of a book, or the press release – but you put a customer review section on your website and “normal people like me” give a little testimonial about how this or that product worked for them and changed their life – and I’ll order a dozen.
I read a book about this phenomenon and found out that I am not alone. The book was titled “The Death of Advertising and the Rise of PR” and it showed that the average person is exposed to 3000 advertisements each day on cars, billboards, flyers, brochures, television, radio, and placards – and in that noise we as a society are simply turning off. We are, collectively, becoming numb to the power of advertising, to the great dismay of the brands spending millions of dollars in the pursuit of a sale.
I am here, on my very own little blog, to lift my hands in the air and tell you that I am about to tell you about something incredible that has worked for me and changed my life. And it is my great hope that the power of PR and the power of Christ in me will come together to convince you to try this out if you haven’t already.
What, you ask, is the thing that has made the biggest difference to me? The power of confession. Please bear with me while I explain. Confession is one of those Christian words that just sounds Christian and so we turn off and walk away. But I am absolutely convinced, not only by what the Word of God says about confession, but about the power it has demonstrated in my life, that confession is necessary not only for acknowledging our sins against God and others, but for healing relationships, for defeating insecurity, for enjoying wholeness and pleasure in life. Confession of WHO WE HONESTLY ARE is the most healing thing we can do for ourselves and for our relationships with others. Confession of sin is necessary for forgiveness. Confession of weakness is necessary for humility. Confession of hurt is necessary for healing in relationship. Confession of imperfection is necessary for freedom.
I want to start with what the Bible says about confession – and again – please don’t let me lose you in this part. It is necessary for establishing the foundation for why I tried confession in my life. The Bible talks about confession in a TON of places and if you look closely – this is how the verses read (my paraphrase) – “you are bound up, isolated, damaged, broken but when you CONFESS you become free, restored, in community with others who love you, whole.” It is this crazy common theme. Over and over this happens. God instructs us that the key to getting us out of the mess that we have let our lives become is confession. Let me give you a few examples from my life to show you how broad this concept is – and then I’ll try to explain it.
Growing up I felt terrible fear about dying – paralyzing fear. One day I tearfully confessed that fear to my dad and he began to help me get free of that fear – he prayed with me and talked to me about eternity and salvation. I began my process towards salvation, I was comforted and that fear began to let go of me.
As a young child I lied often and unnecessarily. Confession of that sin to my mom (and to the Lord) began the long journey towards truthfulness and towards freeing me from that habitual sin.
As an adult I had this terrible insecurity about, well, everything. I went to a Godly therapist and confessed that secret shame that I felt and she began to walk with me on an incredible journey toward healing.
In the process of healing I realized some hurts from my childhood. I went to members of my family and confessed that hurt and asked some confrontational questions and the answers my family gave restored my belief that I was loved by my family.
As an adult I was in a relationship with a guy where I felt like I had to have it all together all of the time – be perfect actually – to be loved. After the dissolution of that relationship I met my husband. Very early on in our relationship I revealed my imperfections to him – in little silly ways like not wearing makeup around him or letting myself be messy – and in that confession of who I really was – I discovered unconditional love.
As a married woman – I have often sinned against my husband. It is only upon the bending of my pride and the confession of my sin that our relationship is relaxed and whole. And each time I confess a sin to my husband, our relationship gets stronger. Because of this, after three years of marriage, two children, 18 months of pregnancy, countless stresses and challenges – I am more in love with my husband now than I was the day I married him.
At work, I have had struggles with other personalities (I know – big shocker on a church staff). I have had to have some difficult meetings and had to fight some difficult battles. But I have been challenged to speak out and confess sin and confront division – and it has strengthened our team at work and made us better able to minister to people.
In life, secret sins can become rooted in your life. I have a close friend to whom I confess even the deepest darkest stuff. It never fails, together she and I are able to uproot that sin and defeat it – sometimes after I fought it unsuccessfully alone for months. There is power in the confession of sin to another Christ-follower.
As a mom – I have convictions and instincts towards my children. Early on with my first child, I would let strong personalities override me or make me question my abilities as a mom. In the past year though, I have confessed that weakness and delighted in the fact that the Lord trusted us with our children to raise – not only trusted us but gave us commandments about how to do raise them. That knowledge has given me strength to fight battles that I find necessary to protect my children. And when I am weak, I confess that and get the strength to fight the next one.
In my relationship with the Lord I have many times felt a coldness or a distance. When I have taken the time to try to figure out what is going on (which is often one of the hardest steps – isn’t being self-aware harder than being numb and going through the motions day by day? That is another post for another day) – I will see that there has been sin creeping into my daily life. Upon confession of that sin – my relationship with the Lord is restored and revitalized.
I’m telling you guys – I have become an addict of this thing called confession. I truly believe that our enemy operates in the dark. As long as he can divide us, convince us we are worthless, lie to us, depress us, tell us we are broken – he wins. But when we drag ourselves into the light, when we confess the thoughts in our head that seem too crazy to speak, when we confess the sin of years ago that we think everyone has forgotten, when we confess the hurt of a damaged relationship, when we fearlessly (or fearfully as long as we’re obedient) let people see the real us – flaws and all – we are healed. We are made whole. We are restored. We are saved.
It really is the “magic cure.” I don’t understand how God does it – but I think we often fear confession because we are afraid it will open a door that we are terrified to open and open up a can of worms that we are not prepared to handle. And the truth that I have found is that sometimes, yes, that is the case. But more often than not – the simple act of confession takes care of the issue (and that is where you can just see our Holy God at work). The humbling of ourselves to confess just seems to reveal, heal, and take care of problems that seemed before to be completely insurmountable. Again – I don’t know how He does it – but that is the nature of our great God. He tells us to do this OVER AND OVER because it works.
This all scratches the surface on this terrible beast that so many of us battle -and some of us are overcome by – insecurity. I cannot begin to express in this one post all the Lord has taught me about insecurity, and all He has healed me from. But I will attempt to begin to explain it on this blog. I will try to process it “out loud” in an obedient act of confession to you guys in the hopes that someone who needs to hear it can begin her journey towards healing.
My encouragement for you today is to look for opportunities to confess. Whether it is sin, hurt, or weakness – it is a cancer in us that needs to be destroyed. Confess it – I promise it destroys it. And as I go today I’ll do the same – I have more confessing to do and damaged relationships that need to be healed as well. As much as I know it works – I still have to fight the fear and push myself to confess as an act of obedience. I don’t know that it ever gets easy – but I know that it is effective.
Confession is the first step towards healing so let’s take that big step together.