Ok, Pastor Idleman has asked some things of us already.
He has told us that we have to be honest with ourselves, brutally honest.
He has told us why it is important to be that way. He has told us what happens when we are not honest. He has even asked us to do an assignment, going to the bathroom, looking into a mirror and asking questions of ourselves and providing honest answers.
Now we come to the end of the chapter and he asks one more thing.
Find a person to confess to.
That makes sense but…….
Immediately the mind starts racing. I have to find someone I trust with all my sin junk? I have to drag all my dirty secrets out of the dark and into the light? Yes that’s what he’s asking. The first instinct is to say no. Why? We as Christians are good at hiding our faults. We have talked about that in previous posts. That is one of the things that people who are not Christians hate about us. Idleman is asking us to go against our instincts.
He wants us to find an earthly confessor.
Why can’t I just confess to God and that is good enough?
I pose a question to you. Do you really want to change?
In Matthew 18:22 Jesus was asked by the disciples how many times they needed to forgive someone. Jesus says “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” God will forgive you over and over again. Jesus took the punishment we deserve upon Himself when He died on the cross. Jesus died for my sins so then when I confess them, God forgives them. Pastor Idleman tells us that and the Bible tells us that…but I ask you, do you want to be stuck? Stuck in what I call the sin cycle. 1. Better behavior 2. Sin 3. Guilt 4. Repent 1. Better behavior 2. Sin 3. Guilt 4. Repent….etc. You are going nowhere.
Who should we find to confess to? Just anybody. No.
1.a Christian who shares your convictions
2.someone who will be honest themselves
3.someone who is trustworthy
4.someone who has freely received the grace of Jesus and freely gives it
You might be saying now “I don’t have a friend or family member like that!” Follow Idleman’s 4 guidelines. Find that kind of person. Don’t rush this. It is too important. We’re talking accountability here and it will be hard. Idleman says “When we take what we have kept in the dark and drag it kicking and screaming into the light, we find that it loses much of its power over us.” Don’t just do this with anyone. Find the right person, the person you can trust.
Why is this so important?
At the end of Chapter 5 Idleman tells us in his quote from the book Coping With Stress. “people who tend to keep secrets have more physical and mental complaints, on average, than people who do not…[including] greater anxiety, depression and bodily symptoms such as back pain and headaches…The initial embarrassment of confessing is frequently outweighed by the relief that comes with the verbalization of the darker aspects of the self.”
If this is not enough, he concludes with Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals their sin does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
And I am tired of being stuck.