Let me tell you a secret.
Close the doors.
Pull down the shades.
Turn off the sound on the computer.
I ……. am ……. not ……. perfect!!!!
Okay…phew! ;) I feel better. That is such a relief to be able to confess to you. And if you said this out loud with me it would be even better because misery loves company.
Some may think that confessing your sin to someone other than the Lord is ridiculous or just a way for the church to “control” you. Why not just confess your sin(s) to God directly? To which I say – “I do!” and I did. (I think God is one of my followers – I know I follow Him, I just don’t read “every” blog, sorry God – another confession!) So let me try to give you my point of view on this.
I always thought I could handle it, I’m a man, I’m an old fart, I can correct my sins and turn it around. (insert chuckle here)
I am not the first one to think this way, nor are you. Remember Adam and Eve in the garden, they had it made – they had hit the jackpot. ( I wonder where we all would be if Adam and Eve would of said “No thanks we’re good!” ) Well they thought they could handle it on their own and they didn’t need someone else to tell them what they could and could not do! (dang it “free will”). This is what Satan does to us, scatters our thoughts, makes us think we are better off doing it ourselves. After all don’t you feel good when you buy that new bookshelf at Target, open the box and follow the instructions and “Shazzam!” it’s done and you do not have any parts left over! I know I feel good – “I” did it! Well yes and no, did you catch what I did? I followed the instructions (these had pictures!!). Mmmm. Simple.
Why do we complicate things? God spoke to Adam and Eve with instructions of how to live in the garden. Satan took a big red crayon to those and scribbled all over them to confuse us! So then God spoke to Noah and gave him a set of instructions to build an ark – it worked! Then Satan came along and kicked our ball away and we were confused once more. Along came Elijah and Moses – they mostly followed but since they did not it fell apart. Then along came Mary.
Who better to give us instructions (be it with words and examples) than God himself, Jesus (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). He not only lived liked us so that He could sympathize with our struggles, but He could also heal us right on the spot if He so choose. But more importantly by selecting 12 men to be with Him 24/7, He taught them not only by words but by deeds and He taught them privately as well (Mark 4:33-34). The most effective way to teach anyone is by example.
I will assume at this point you know a little bit about Jesus’ life (If you do not please say so and I will do a follow-up post). So when Jesus arose from the grave and appeared to the 12 apostles;
Gospel of John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
The apostles received the gifts of the Holy Spirit from Jesus himself. And in James 5:15-17 we are told to confess our sins to one another.
Have you ever gone to apologize for an error of words or acts that you did? It is difficult and causes a big lump in your throat or stomach. It’s easy when you say it to yourself in the mirror or in a room by yourself, but put another person in front of you it is not so easy. When you confess to a priest it can sometimes be difficult because he is representing Jesus, our Lord and God. The priest has professed to do his best to imitate Jesus and walk in His footsteps and be a living example for us.
Reconcile with God; open your heart and reach out for God’s forgiving, loving mercy.