I’ve been thinking and talking and hearing and writing a lot about confession lately. It’s present all throughout Scripture and yet it seems so drastically absent from our lives. The irony is that in a world of over sharing on social media, we tend to “under share” that which matters most. We’ve traded likes on Instagram for true intimacy in relationship. We’ve settled for shallow “relationship” with hundreds of “friends” who are more like strangers rather than depth of a few truly close and authentic friends. And it’s a horrible trade.
We end up carrying our hurt and pain by ourselves. We end up feeling alone, and honestly maybe many of us actually are! We end up burying our emotions or trying to cope in unhealthy ways. We experience guilt and shame and have no where to go. And the more we keep anything in secret, hidden in the dark, the bigger it grows.
I heard Jen Hatmaker tell a story that illustrates the perfectly. In her bedroom stands a manikin holding many of her coats and topped with her big floppy sun hat. Many nights she has awakened to the belief that manikin is an intruder ready to attack. Simply turning on the light removes all fear and quiets her racing heartbeat.
In Ephesians 5, Paul says, “Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. (NLT)”
You see, no matter what you have hidden in the darkest parts of your heart, it isn’t nearly as big or powerful as the light of the Holy Spirit within you. And when we muster up the courage to expose the darkness to the light, it becomes no more frightening than a manikin clothed in old coats and a floppy sun hat.
So let’s get serious about developing deep, authentic, trusting relationships where we are safe to be vulnerable with our messiness…the kind that help us bring that which is dark into the light. Let’s be brave enough to be honest and real with one another, trusting we’ll be met with kindness, compassion, and tenderness.