My daughter is asleep, the laundry is folded, and I have a few hours of peace before the chaos of babysitting begins. I have been wanting to write this blog post for a few weeks, so today you get it.
One of my recent entries in my journaling bible was from John 3. I was reading through trying to decide what I want to teach from in the class I’m doing at church next month, and this passage stuck out to me in a whole new way.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
For most of my childhood and teen years, I was really afraid of my sin being exposed for how ugly it truly is. I bought into the lie that no one else struggled with what I struggled with, that no one would understand, and that there was no way to “cure” me. When I read verses that talked about being pure and faultless before God I couldn’t relate, because I held these secret sins so close to my heart that I almost didn’t acknowledge them anymore. Sin was just part of who I was and that was the way it was.
As a high school junior, I made the decision to spend my senior year in an intensive discipleship program. I had given myself an ultimatum that if I went I would finally deal with my issues and stop trying to pretend that I was a good church kid. So, my first week in the program I went to my advisors and emotionally vomited my deepest darkest secrets into their laps.
It was definitely awkward, and very painful and frustrating to deal openly with issues that I had always been secretive about and ashamed of. But, I was able to actually embrace God’s forgiveness of my sin and learn that victory over it is possible and wonderful.
The passage in John talks about how much God loves the world, how he knows all about our sin and doesn’t want to condemn us but wants to save us. Then it talks about how we love the darkness because our deeds are evil, we hide ourselves from the light of God because we don’t want our actions to be visible. But the brave soul who desires God’s truth and love above all else in their life will come into that light and let God deal with the ugliness that clings to them.
I think that Christians today have a problem with confessing sin. Some have amazing stories of recovery from openly sinful lifestyles, and the problem of sexual addictions is getting more light than it used to, but there are still a vast majority of Christians who let sin fester in their hearts because they don’t have a clear avenue and example of how to confess it.
Bitterness, pride, lust, greed, selfishness, hate, lying.. these sins are just as powerful and controlling as being a drug addict or a prostitute. They may not be killing your body, but they infect your spirit and eat you from inside. And it is completely unnecessary. You do not have to be controlled by sin because God has given you everything you need to live and be godly. He has set you free from a life of sin and death, so that sin no longer has mastery over you.
I came up with a list of reasons why it is better to bring your sin to light than to wallow in it. I think we subconsciously let these things control our thinking and actions, we let them get so ingrained in our hearts that we don’t even consider them a problem anymore. Or, we are ashamed and afraid that somehow our sin is unique and disgusting, and that no one will respect us again if it comes out.
That is a lie. God takes our rancid slop and composts it into fertile soil where he can plant righteousness. He is a master at this, it is what he loves to do.
If God is bringing an area of your life to mind right now, pray about confessing that sin to someone you trust and getting help. You can have true victory in Jesus, I promise!