If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Sometimes in the movies the bad guy goes into a church confession booth. He sits down heavily in the chair and the priest says, “Son, how long has it been since your last confession?” A cold, violent voice answers back, “Father, it’s…. it’s been a long time.” And then the bad guy takes a deep breath and slowly confesses his sins– murder, rape, deception, adultery, etc.
The unspoken narrative is that he’d come a long way from the nervous boy making his first confession as a boy. He hadn’t been to confession enough.
Confessing Sins is Like Pulling Weeds
I love my garden. There is something wholesome and beautiful about growing your own food. When you tend a garden your falls into a sacred rhythm. You become more aware of heat and season and wildlife because each plays a role in your garden. Each day you do a little bit of work and every day you enjoy a little bit of harvest.
Watering, fertilizing, pruning, preparing the soil… And pulling weeds. Every day you have to pulls some weeds.
If I pull weeds for 5-10 minutes every day I can keep it in control. The weeds aren’t a big deal. They are easy to pull and haven’t done much damage.
But if I take a few days off from pulling weeds it becomes a bigger deal. Weeds reproduce fast so there are more of them to pull and they are harder to kill because they have taken root in the soil. Not only have they begun leaching nutrients away from my vegetables, but their roots may have begun to intertwine with the roots of my vegetables, which means I’ll do damage to the good roots in the process of pulling the bad roots out.
If I take a week or two off from pulling weeds I’ll have a major problem. Weeds grow fast and tall and begin to choke out the good stuff. Fixing it becomes a major chore and it’s probably already too late.
I’ve found this to be exactly like confessing sins to another believer. When I regularly check in with someone, confessing sins in a sacred life rhythm keeps the sin in check.
It’s when I fall out of the habit, when I go weeks or months or even years without truly sharing with someone what’s really going on– those little sins take root and mature. They grow big and begin to choke out the good stuff.
And it’s a lot of work and a lot of pain to get them out of my life.
HT to Brian and Kevin and our high school small group. This post came directly from our discussion on 1 John last Wednesday.
p.s. Yes, I know I’m blogging about weeds on 4/20. Not that kind of weed, stoner.