cultivate (kuhl - tuh - veyt)
v. 1) develop 2) nurture

graft (grahft)
n. 1) transplant 2) bud 3) union

Monday, January 14, 2013

Confessions Of A Crybaby

1. I carry myself like a grocery produce connoisseur when choosing which fruits and veggies go in my basket. I sniff, squeeze and thump my way through the aisles.

I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. If it's hairy or oozes, I put it back.

2. Facebook peeps already know I was sneaking s'mores last week, in lieu of eating the dinner leftovers I was (coincidentally) forcing the children eat.

No regrets. Why is an explanation necessary? S'mores. For dinner.

Earlier, I shared with you my word for 2013. God cheated and gave me a second word.*


I like my other word. 

Preparation is exciting and adventurous and elicits responses such as "Oh! WOW! God is going to do something HUGE in your life!" Confession, not so much. Confession is scary and intimidating and garners responses akin to "Oh. Bummer. That sucks. Sorry God's being such a Debbie Downer about your word of the year." Friends want to get involved in preparation. Confession can lead to criticism and alienation exercised by those selfsame friends. 

Raise your hand if you think confession is fun.
*crickets chirping*

Raise your hand if you remember the last time you confessed something to God.
That's not so hard, because I know I'll be forgiven. Plus I can't see the disappointment in my Father's eyes. 

How about to another person?
Starting to squirm.

At a church meeting?
So...uh...heard about Pluto?

It's one thing to confess that which will make readers laugh. It's painless to confess the silly things of which most of us can relate (don't even try to convince me that you know a ripe star fruit when you see one). It's quite another thing to confess wrongdoing and seek forgiveness or to confess a personal struggle. I no longer hold all the cards when I confess. Confession is an act of choosing to involve others in my intimate relationship with Christ. It requires humility (which I lack), vulnerability (which I avoid) and community (which I deflect).**

Pride, resistance and detachment are roadblocks to confession.

We must set aside our pride. It will likely get us in hot water and it oftentimes "goes before the fall". Pride is more than simply saving face; it's pompously claiming, "You are not worthy of me." 
Likewise, resistance builds a parapet around my soul, locking out believers and capturing sin in, with no emergency escape hatch. Confession to God is paramount, but the need to confess to the body of believers is also crucial for a healthy relationship with Christ (and one another). 

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful.
James 5:16

No doubt about it, it is hard work to confess. It's like learning to tie shoelaces. At first my efforts are feeble and awkward. It doesn't pan out how I expected. Things come unraveled and I'm left frustrated with tears blurring my vision of the goal. Seeing as how I no longer struggle to tie my shoes, it's safe to say it gets better.*** I can't point to a day on the calender when tying my shoes was no longer a chore. It happened slowly, over time. Knots became surer with each honest effort. The ends evened and no longer slipped through. It became a fluid motion. This was partially due to my own perseverance and partially due to outside influences (I know this is a lot to require of a shoe-tying analogy, and I've already stretched it pretty thin, but hang in there with me). Surrounding me were some expert shoelace tie-ers. They had the choice to berate and guilt me or gently lead by example and encourage me.****

Our family is blessed to be part of a church fellowship that beautifully models confession. We've witnessed several confessions and each have been met in the same way: The confessor has been enveloped in love, prayer and instruction. This is as it should be. 

I'll admit, confession still causes my stomach to do little flips (mostly because I'm a big crybaby), but I know three things:

1. My home and my church family are both gracious in their responses to confession, of which I must exhibit the same level of graciousness toward them (and others).
2. Little eyes are watching and little lives are being shaped by what they see. I want my children to witness and practice confession.
3. Despite being a crybaby, confession is still scriptural and we are admonished to engage in this practice regularly. 

As regularly as tying our shoes...


P.S. A shout out to Ben Stein and Dulé Hill. Classic lines. Commit them to memory.

*I politely showed Him the rule book, but He insisted on an additional word. He doesn't color inside the lines either.
**See what I did there? "-ity" endings. There will be a test.
***This statement probably doesn't hold much water since I just got done telling ya'll I wear flip-flops
****Side note: Acute, able-bodied adults with velcro shoes concern me. 


  1. Ouch. Thanks... The older I get, the more confessing to others and confessing to God become inexorably linked together.

  2. Yeah. You're welcome. We all wanted to hear this like we want salt in the eye.


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