I need to confess. As a struggling saint and expert sinner, there are times when the sins I have committed come to mind; thoughts or dreams of some distant memory, or some broken relationship, or unkind words spoken in haste and they will weigh heavy on my heart. What is really crazy is how long I will suffer over my sins without taking them to God.
Many times in my life, I know God must have cried as He watched me make wrong decisions and live out the consequences of those decisions. Then I would do everything imaginable except turn to Him, generally making an even bigger mess. Why is it that we have such a hard time trusting in His unconditional love? Our own children frustrate us, ignore us, and hurt our feelings but nothing changes the love that we have for them.
This brings me back to confession. I still remember telling my sons: just tell me the truth. Who broke it, or who hit who; come on, one of you confess. Finally one of them would speak up and the relief on his face was amazing. Years later I found out that they would take turns confessing, especially when they both were involved.
One of my sons told me how getting it off of his mind and just letting me know how sorry he was made him feel loved, because he knew that I would forgive him.
Today I watch my adult sons as they try to explain to their children why telling the truth and confessing will make you feel loved and forgiven.
Even more, it is our acceptance of God’s forgiveness that makes us whole. Once we accept God’s forgiveness, we are set free to forgive others, to heal broken relationships, to see the world in a whole new light.
Patti Austin, of Decatur, Georgia, is a former president of the churchwide executive board.
Photo by wilkristin. Used with permission.