Does anyone like to confess when they have done wrong?
When I was little, I did a cartwheel in the living room. Gymnastics were not allowed there because Mom had some valuable and very breakable heirlooms. Nevertheless, the room was long and inviting. Besides, a friend dared me to cartwheel through it. On the second one, I whacked my big toe on the coffee table. It hurt horribly, but I bit my lip and told me friend to go home. I hobbled to my bedroom and cried. The throbbing grew worse, a constant reminder that I had done something wrong. But I feared the throbbing my behind would face if I confessed to Mom what happened. I also feared that she would be disappointed in me and, perhaps, not love me as much.
When she came home from the store, I didn’t rush to greet her. I hid in my room. By that time I couldn’t put any weight on my foot. I knew I had to come out eventually. Even if I missed dinner, I had school the next day. My tears began again and Mom heard them. She rushed into my room, and then me to the emergency room. Yes, I was punished. I had to wear ugly, brown orthopedic shoes for 6 weeks. Mom figured that humility was penance enough.
There is an adage that confession is good for the soul. It is not just good, it is necessary. Why? Because sin is what separates us from God. Like Adam and Eve, we try to hide. Many think He will zap us with a lightening bolt, or love us less, or lose trust in us if we tell Him we have sinned. But, the truth of the matter is this – He already knows that we have.
God loved us enough to hang on a cross in excruciating and agonizing pain to die a horrible death in order to take on our sins. Why? He knew we would sin. It is in our fallen nature. He will not love us any less because we have sinned. He waits for us to come to Him because He wants to cleanses us and heal us.
But, if we do not come to Him and atone for our errors, it will break His heart. Not only that, but the growing guilt inside us will wedge us apart from His love. Atonement for our sins must be an essential part of our prayer life. It is the “A” in pray. *
There may be consequences we have to live through as the result of our sin. But, God is there beside us to guide, comfort and heal. I don’t know how many times my Mom held me as I cried when I came home from school with the kids’ laughter over the ugly shoes on my feet ringing in my ears. Nor do I recall how many times her hugs gave me the courage to walk back into that school each day. I know both happened a lot. And, thanks to her love, I got through it. Should I expect any less from my Heavenly Father? Should you?
*For more about how the letters in “praying” explain the steps which should be an essential part of our prayer life, consider P.R.A.Y.I.N.G:Bringing Purpose to Your Prayers. It’s available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon.com or at www.juliebcosgrove.com.