Last week, I was doing some studies on what it means to REPENT… &, as often happens, I got lost on a rabbit trail, & spent some time chasing something that was connected loosely to what I’d started with. It was the word, CONFESS – (You can read the verses I was reading HERE & HERE)
I unexpectedly discovered that I have a very, very negative association, a nasty feeling in my belly, around the word confess… maybe its because I have watched too many “cop” shows, where “getting a confession” is something that the good guys do to the bad guys, often under duress. The threat of pain &/or punishment, emotional manipulation, & even downright blackmail are all fair game in the pursuit of a confession. And when a confession is finally worked out of the “perp”, they’re left as a broken, weak, vulnerable mess.
Transfer this context to the scriptures – & the instruction we’re given to ‘confess our sins to one another,’ & that a part of repentance is the confession, the owning up to our sin, our wrongdoing. I found myself thinking, “if confession is like what I’m associating it with, it doesn’t go along with what we know of God & His nature as revealed in the Scriptures & in the person of Jesus Christ – meaning, He is always, now & forever, a predictably good God – & doesn’t put us through torture, torment, & blackmail in order to sweat a confession out of us.
So when I was chasing the Rabbit of Confession, I decided to take a look at what words the Bible writers used to get a better picture of the intended definition for confess in the original language.
And the definitions for confess, with the deluxe Strong’s Concordance Word # next to each:
ἐξομολογέω – exomologeō – CONFESS: G1843 – to confess, to profess; acknowledge openly and joyfully; to one’s honour: to celebrate, give praise; to profess that one will do something, to promise, agree, engage…
ὁμολογέω – homologeō – CONFESS: G3670 – to say the same thing as another; to confess, to admit or declare one’s self guilty of what one is accused of; to profess; to declare openly, speak out freely; to profess one’s self the worshipper of one; to praise, celebrate…
To acknowledge openly & joyfully… my sins? To celebrate… where I’ve blown it? How could I do that? And why would I? Hmmm.
I let what I’d read sink in, & really meditated on it for several days; still, I couldn’t come to grips with what this might mean, what it would look like, lived out in the context of my life, as I would REPENT, ask God to change my thinking & to transform me…
And then today, a light bulb went on.
Confession goes hand in hand with repentance – & can be celebrated, acknowledged openly & joyfully, not because our sins are so great & legendary that they’re to be celebrated. Not at all – sin ends up in death & destruction. Always. Every time. And there’s nothing to celebrate about that. BUT…
There IS something to be celebrated in the freedom that comes from confessing as a part of our repenting… from bringing sin & wrongdoing into the light . When I confess to God (& to another trustworthy, faithful person) I am not being self-deprecating; I’m agreeing with God’s assessment of sin. And by bringing it to the light, I also bring it to the One person who is able to forgive me of my wrongdoing, & who has promised in His Word to not only forgive me, but to purify & cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
Hmmm. So I’m starting to get it. I think. I just know that my belly doesn’t hurt anymore.
And in other thoughts… in some ways, I can’t wait for baseball season to start already. I can only hope that the games will provide a welcome distraction from the daily barrage of accusations/revelations/discussions about PEDs, steroids, & HGH. Still, I’m not holding my breath.
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you… Woo woo woo.
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson? ‘Joltin Joe’ has left and gone away? Hey hey hey. Hey hey hey.
I like the verse where Jesus says, “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God”…that makes me feel better about the word :)