Monday, June 20, 2011

The Blessing of Knowing and Being Known

Light is an amazing thing.  I grew up being taught that we deal with secret sins secretly and public sins publicly.  We were never to talk about our sins.  They were to remain hidden, only confessed to the person we sinned against, and then only if we were sure they knew about the sin.  In fact, if no one knew of the sin, we were encouraged to keep it that way and confess it only to God.  We were to keep up our appearance of being good.

I believe that this is a lie that robs us of one of the greatest blessings of being in the body of Christ - true fellowship.

 God says to walk in the light as He is in the light.

I believe that in dealing with situations where someone has sinned against me, then I am to contain the sin - going to the person involved, only involving others if that person will not listen to me.  And even in that, my motive is to be that person's restoration, not my vindication.  That is clear.  To show love to others and not to dishonor or embarrass them.

There is no such instructions regarding my own sins.  Actually, we are encouraged to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another.  How is someone going to pray specifically for me if I hide all my weaknesses and struggles?

Walking in the light is freeing.  Not trying to conceal my weaknesses and struggles.  Being transparent.  Proverbs says that those who try to conceal their sins will not prosper, but those who confess them and forsakes them will find compassion.  An interesting word choice.  Not forgiveness.  Compassion.  Not judgement.  Compassion.

I believe that as fellow believers we have an important role to play in each others lives.  I believe that trying to appear "perfect" when we are not robs us of the blessing of others involvement in our lives.  It is my fellow believers, imperfect as they may also be, who will hold me accountable, who will ask me questions, who will pray for me, and who will encourage me to walk in the Light.

I've found something else out from experience.  When I have struggled with a sin in secret, confessing it to God, begging His help in not doing it again... I have failed.  There is power in the hidden things.  Satan can whisper his lies behind shadows.  But when I take those very secret sins and bring them to the light, confessing them as James 5:16 says "to one another", that they are brought into the light.  There is a tremendous power in light.  Satan has no shadows to whisper behind:

If people knew what you struggled with, they would never care for you.

You think you are so good, but look at what you are like.

There is no hope for you.

There is shame in secrets and shame has immense power.

It is my fellow brothers and sisters who have been able to stand with me in the light and speak truth - God's truth.  And the power of the Light is greater than any shame or fear.  Perfect love casts out fear.  We are to be to each other the body of Christ - showing His love to each other, His compassion for our struggles, His truth for our lies, His forgiveness for our sins, and His grace for our weaknesses.

I choose to walk in the Light.  I choose to walk in the light openly and transparently with other believers.  I choose to allow others to speak into my life and live a life of accountability.  In that is more blessings than I can even list.

If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

I choose to walk in the light.  I choose fellowship with others, not simply the being with others, but the honest, transparent fellowship where I know and am known.  I choose to accept the risks involved in that, because again, it is worth it!


Carrie said...

Thoroughly enjoying the new posts. Thank you for saying what needed to be said!

junglewife said...

I echo Carrie here! Thanks for the great thoughts. It's always great to evaluate what we've "always been taught" against Scripture.

Cindy said...

glad you are back to blogging...
you make me think...and most of the time i like that :)