Tag Archives: confession

Confession: The Gift We’ve Abandoned

“Few things accelerate the peace process as much as humbly admitting our own wrongdoing and asking forgiveness.”
– Lee Strobel

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In a world where disagreeable ditches outnumber beneficent bridges, confession is our only hope.

Without confession, we are lost in a fog of angry bewilderment. Why am I so messed up? Why don’t people act the way I want them to? Why is God so distant?

But today we fight for our lives in a “no regrets” cultural arena, where only the weak admit error, only the cowardly apologize, and irrational certainty  has replaced gentle humility in the face of the frightening unknown.

Families, communities, nations crumble around us. But we, individually and collectively, would rather die (or pay exorbitant legal fees) than to squeeze out the words, “It’s all my fault, it’s my wrong decisions, my selfish, thoughtless bent that contributed to or caused this mess. Please forgive me and allow me to make it right.”

Confession is no picnic. By admitting our complicity with all the ugly and un-right, we voluntarily stand naked before a critical crowd. How do we find the courage to confess?

First, we stop pretending.

A still-wet oil painting rests on an easel in my kitchen. As I chop vegetables, or unload the dishes, the canvas “talks” to me, mentioning too-hard edges, confusing brush strokes, or muddied color.  My embarrassing mistakes transform into helpful reminders as I tackle the next fresh surface. The desire to create better, more beautiful art turns out to be more important than pretending I already have.

In the same way, the practice of confession increases my desire to lead a better, more beautiful life, instead of pretending I already am.

Confession: A Daily Inventory

So, I attempt to inventory each day before the God who made me, loves me and sees me as I am. The steps are simple: What am I grateful for? How was I unloving today in my attitudes and actions? Forgive me, help me make it right with those I’ve harmed, and grant me your grace and wisdom for the new day.

Imagine if confession were a collective practice, if heartfelt gratitude, contrition, and hope dominated our gatherings?

What if, like God, we handed each other a daily blank canvas, trusting God to paint something new?

From the Book of Common Prayer

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.

Amen.

Why not make a habit of daily confession? You’ll find it to be good for the soul.

Have you experienced the restorative gift of confession?

 

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Sabbath Quiet: At The End Of The Day

If we wish to hide from the penetrating gaze of holy love, it is because we know it falls on what is unholy and unloving within us. ~Marjorie Thompson

End of the day

At The End Of The Day

The end must always inform the beginning. How can God be worthy of next year’s dreams if he can’t be trusted with the past year’s failure?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

A Confession

Father, I confess,

I have been greedy, ever wanting more. More things, more blessings–my eyes stray to the plates of others and I miss what you have, with care and intention, placed on mine.

I have been self-righteous and smug about the sin of others, quick to lament the wickedness of the world, but angry when my own sin is held to the light.

I have rushed to judgment, quick to assume the worst of you, of life, of others, and have been slow to listen and understand.

I have let others think for me, preferring contentious commentary over prayer and wise discernment.

I have let others give for me, preferring the ease of writing a check to the demands of walking with someone in need.

I have hardened my heart in self-protection, dreading hurt more than I  fear a broken relationship.

Arrogant and entitled, I have lived as if my needs matter most.

Shallow and short-sighted, I have sought cosmetic fixes and avoided deep change.

Lazy and comfort-loving, I have buried my talents and gifts and left the darkness around me unchallenged.

Forgive me, Father and re-make me in your image,

In Jesus name, Amen.

And You?

What do you need to lay before God at the end of the day, the end of this year? What sins have held you in their deadly grip? Confess and be set free.

“Most merciful God,

we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.

Amen.”

~Book of Common Prayer

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