Friday, November 2, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Confession


On Confession
A devotional by Lisa Lickel

“And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” ~James 5:15-16 (ESV)

“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” ~John 20:23 (ESV)

"In acts of mutual confession, we release the power that heals. Our humanity is no longer denied but transformed. "~Richard Foster, The Celebration of Discipline

I am in awe that being a Christian is a process, a journey of many steps that is a call for continual renewal and examination. When I accepted Jesus Christ into my life and confessed him as my Savior and Lord, I became a Christ-follower. 
We share the ABCs of faith: Accept, Believe, Confess. Confess Christ as the Savior, yes, as well as allow ourselves to confess to each other that the Belief part—the part where I act on what I believe—is often a quagmire of ugliness from which I need help to escape.

Admitting I’m wrong or make mistakes has always been a hotbed of fear for me because the punishment was old-fashioned—swift and sometimes physically and always emotionally brutal. I have been harder on myself, too, for the desire to make excuses, to not take the time to make certain the information is correct, for taking the easy way out. I have lashed out at others in fear and pride; I still cluck my tongue at others’ intentional or accidental acts of insensitivity when I’ve committed similar acts in the past.

Often, the worst thing we can do is treat others as we want to be treated. Those are the times we need to step outside of our comfort zones and examine our motives. Forgive me, my neighbor, for not noticing your need. Forgive me, Lord, for glossing over spending fifteen minutes with you and you only. Forgive me, friend, for sharing a thought that was painful for you.

Having a physical prayer partner or a being part of a small group Bible study which has a sharing time can fulfill this need to confess and accept forgiveness. I realize that unconsciously I have participated on both sides with my new friends in Christ and desire to be more intentional; hearing confession is never a time to store gossip fodder. Confession is good. It is healing. It is a lesson in growing and becoming, in transforming my life. 

Confessing should result in genuine change. I don’t want to confess simply to relieve my personal sense of guilt and shame—sure, that’s the bandage effect, but not the antibiotic to heal the deep sin-wound in my soul. 

My confession makes me want to spend more time getting to know my neighbor; for realizing that my Jesus is waiting for me—me!—to sit down with him; and for listening more than spouting off platitudes, even if personally I would rejoice in the response.

My Prayer:
Thank you, Lord of my life, for reminding me of your loving presence, always waiting patiently for me to come and share the best and the worst of myself with you.

~*~
Author Bio:
Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin. 

A multi-published and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and workshop leader.

She is a member of Chicago Writers Association and part of Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp and Writing Retreat, Inc., mentoring writers from across the United States and Canada.

~*~
Connect with Lisa:
Website: http://www.LisaLickel.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lisalickelauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/lisalickel
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lisajlickel
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2bPxi2X

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