The man or woman who is not ready to confess, to pour out a heartful of regrets—can such be an inheritor of the light? It is the joy of a true heart of an heir of light, of a child of that God who loves an open soul—the joy of any man who hates the wrong the more because he has done it, to say, “I was wrong; I am sorry.” O, the sweet winds of repentance and reconciliation and atonement, that will blow from garden to garden of God! Whatever the place be like, one thing is certain, that there will be endless, infinite atonement, ever-growing love. Certain too it is that whatever the divinely human heart desires, it shall not desire in vain. The light which is God, and which is our inheritance because we are the children of God, insures these things. For the heart which desires, is made thus to desire. For never, in the midst of the good things of this lovely world, have I felt quite at home in it; it is not all I should like for a place to live in. It matters little whether the cause lie in the world or in myself, both being incomplete: God is, and all is well. All that is needed to set the world right is that I care for God as he cares for me; that I have no thought that springs from myself apart from him; that my will and desires keep time and harmony with his music. What springs from myself, and not from God, is evil; it is a perversion of something of God’s. Whatever is not of faith is sin; it is a stream cut off from its source. But light is my inheritance through him whose life is the light of men, to wake in them the life of their father in heaven. Loved be the Lord who in himself generated that life which is the light of men!
Confession-Good For The Soul
by Stephen Carney
“The man or woman who is not ready to confess, to pour out a heartfelt of regrets-can such be an inheritor of the light? It is the joy of the true heart of an heir of light, of a child of that God who loves an open soul…”
Confession is the essential first step in obedience. Everything in our following of Christ begins with the heart, and the heart begins its transformation with confession. Confession is the soul daring itself to come out of hiding and expose its sins to the light. It is daring as pride fights against us in our effort to come clean. Pride can only survive in the darkness, which keeps pride from being seen for what it is: as Bonhoeffer states, it is the root of all sin. Therefore, in order for pride to safeguard sin, it must tell us that we will never recover from confession, that we will be humiliated and embarrassed and, worst of all, rejected in the end. But Jesus goes even further than this, and shows us the darkness behind it all: “And this is the judgement, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light; that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (Jn. 3:19-21). Bringing our deeds to the light exposes them for what they are and begins to crucify our pride.
Yet, people still try to find a way of confessing without exposure to the light. Many believe confession to be a private matter, and gloss over the words of James in Chapter Five, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed…” James is telling us that confession is something that happens in community, one to another. This is what Jesus was referring to when he said to his disciples, “Whoever's sins you remit they are remitted and whoever sins you retain they are retained.” One may or may not come clean in confession, and to the degree we admit our wrongs, will we find our sins either remitted or retained. To confess is to die the public death of a sinner, and so be crucified with Christ, as we too are put to an open shame. To paraphrase Bonhoeffer, “Why should we find it easier to confess our sins to a holy and just God who will judge us on the last day, than to our brother who is as sinful as we are? If we do, we must ask ourselves one question, have we really been confessing our sins to God at all or have we just been confessing our sins to ourselves and granting ourselves absolution? Self-forgiveness can never lead to a breach with sin.”
I have always said, we must confess our sins to God and at least one other person. I have made it a point in my life to have several people who have been my confidants in my confession. It will serve to keep us literally, “honest to God” in our confessions and in our spiritual walk.