Death by a 1,000 Confessions pt 1.
It’s rumored when someone shares a personal struggle with you in confidence, they are most likely only revealing around 40% of what is actually going on. Like pool-goers slowly dipping toes in shallow water, we determine the climate of those on the receiving end of what we have to say. Anticipating our listener’s response and afraid of confrontation, we minimize our struggle. But because of shame, we avoid vulnerable honesty and lie by omission.
For those of us who’ve experienced abuse at the hands of people in positions of power and authority, we may feel as if no one can be trusted. Fearing rejection, we opt for deception. And rather than shed the light of day on the depths of our issues, we divulge portions like fireworks in the evening sky. Explosive and without warning, our problems become too much to handle and begin affecting every area of our lives. Whether caught by a spouse, discovered by a friend, or convicted by God, we do ourselves in when we fail to confess the gravity of our sin. But because we habitually gave ourselves over to the desires of our flesh, we can no longer recognize the seriousness of our rebellion. #cosmictreason
For many of us, the thought of keeping our stories straight insights panic. Instead of freely admitting the scope of sin, we disclose an instance or two. Hanging out in the shallow region of relationships, we give surface level answers and forgo deep and meaningful conversations intended to help us grow. In comfort and convenience, we shrink back from the light. If and when we want to talk about our issues, but don’t earnestly want to do anything about them, we use statement like:
“I’m struggling with porn.” (though this is a great starting point, it doesn’t reveal what the struggle looks like)
“I only had a couple of drinks.” (the word only minimizes responsibility)
“But you did it too.” (the word but justifies actions)
If the devil is in the details, we leave Him out when we fail to communicate the fullness and extent of our sin. Unwilling to properly address the enemy, we use vague statements. And like an elementary game of battleship, our accountability communities fire off random solutions hoping to sink secret sin. However, if we were to get serious about our disobedience and express a degree of bravery, we would willingly reveal where our strongholds lie.
I speak from experience because I’ve nearly buried myself alive under the crushing weight of unrevealed sin. With disclosures framed as confessions, I’ve misguided those around me. And when doing so, I was unable to invite fellow believers into battle with me. Afraid to admit what my problems really looked like, I wore a mask and played a part. It gets lonely running your own ship. Endlessly keeping up a charade, we tire.
The enemy uses self-preservation as an isolation tactic.
If we exercise a degree of bravery by confessing sin, but fail to disclose the details, the enemy buries us alive. In the space between genuine but minimized confessions, he uses shame to keep us silent. Instead of pulling back the curtains and admitting things like:
making closet sized purchases to pacify feelings of insecurity
relapsing multiple times but out of fear of letting others down, remained silent
a systematic addiction causing you to lose sleep, miss work, show up late, and objectify everything around you
drinking two doubles before leaving the house, a “couple” more at dinner, and a “couple” more at home but only telling people you had a “couple”
In doing so we remain unknown, hiding in plain sight. Because we fear what others think of us, we withhold information. However, if we genuinely desire relief from what ails us, we must stop caring about our reputation. We cannot save our face and a** at the same time. Today, I challenge you to invite others into your struggles. It may be scary to admit you don’t have it all together, but that’s ok! No one other than Jesus does! Maybe you feel like you’ll never learn, like you’ve always been this way and it’s how it will always be. I get it; my pride tells me I am set in my ways. However, humility allows us to be teachable:
17 For there is nothing hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come out into the open. 18 So be careful how you listen; for whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more[understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a longing for truth], even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.”
Luke 8:17-18 AMP
As a person known for having many words, I find the experience of death by 1,000 confessions tragically poetic. If given the opportunity to get honest, I encourage you to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Instead of sabotaging our character through minimizing, we get the opportunity to build our integrity through open and honest revelation. Because if you make a “confession,” but leave out important information, only to later get found out; your word will be as good as null and void. If given the opportunity to get honest, but yet still choose to deceive, when found out…because let’s face it, eventually you will be…your words will be hollow.
Again, I encourage you to choose today whom you will serve; your flesh or God.
In Your Corner,