Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (NKJV).
The meaning of this verse is very true for me. God has blessed me as I have examined my heart, become vulnerable and confessed my sins. I can also say with certainty, I was foolish to deny my sinfulness, and excuse it. When I covered my sins, I couldn’t find true peace. But since beginning to humbly confess my sins, with true repentance and faith, I found mercy from God. Therefore, I have no reservations in scrutinizing the Christian I was claiming to be and the one I am in the process of becoming and noting the bold differences between them.
Being raised in the Catholic Church, I had memorized, from an early age, a prayer of confession. Each week during mass, I would join the rest of the congregation in saying, “I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask Blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.” Further, I participated in confessing my sins to the priest in our congregation at least once a year, usually one week before Easter service. When I felt guilty as a young child for my behavior, such as sassing my mother, or lying, I would quickly confess my sins to God.
As I grew older, however, and my pride, arrogance and controlling attitude ruled my heart, I felt less of a need to confess my sins to God. At the time, I didn’t realize how much my choice to sin separated me from God. In fact, over the period of many years, I had become so sinful that God’s words no longer had any impact on my heart.
In October 2008, God offered me an opportunity to receive His grace and forgiveness. This time, my eyes opened to see how much I needed God. Then a few months later, I began bible classes to study God. In one school assignment, I reviewed several bible tracts. One particular tract grabbed my heart. The tract pictured a man on one side of a canyon and God on the other. Written across the canyon was the word, “Sin.” I stared at that picture for quite awhile. The same week, in another class, I learned how God cannot tolerate the presence of sin. I began to admit, I am a sinner! I realized how distant from God I had chosen to roam. For much of my life, I committed offenses against God. And, I couldn’t wait to change! I craved a renewed relationship with God and was willing to do whatever He asked to reunify with Him. I deeply and sincerely wanted His forgiveness.
I began to pray. At first, I only prayed in private. The first time, I found myself repeating the confessional prayer I learned as a child. I walked away unchanged. The next time, I prayed from my heart. I felt a sense of healing. God wanted to hear “I’m sorry,” from my humbled heart. From then on, I was specific in my prayer while confessing my sin. I told God, as a child would tell her parent, what I did. Each time, I acknowledged that I was a sinner; I felt the warmth of God’s forgiveness.
As I grew closer to God, I felt a burden to clear the past and confess my sins to others. I started by admitting to friends that I had not been the perfect wife or the Christian I had claimed to be. I was surprised at the response from my friends. In each conversation, my friends admitted their faults and failures too. It felt as if I had, at last, opened a door for truth to be spoken in love.
As a result, I heard about the many challenges and disappointments my friends’ faced in their own marriages, parenting their children and at work. I no longer felt alone in my sadness. And I no longer felt the need to put on an outward show. I could finally be real!
I confessed to my friends how broken I was and how much I needed God. My friends shared with me how they had admired me for years and were relieved to know my life was not picture perfect. These conversations prompted me to speak God’s name freely. Now, I could easily testify to His goodness and His ability to purify my heart.
Confessing my sins to my friends was very positive, so I then began the process with family members. As with friends, confessing my sins to family members offered healing by clearing up many misunderstandings and past hurts. I now believe that confession is another form of ministering to others. It creates a safe environment to start discussions about specific needs. It also allowed me to pray for friends and family on a very personal level.
Additionally, confession brought a feeling of holiness and closeness to Christ. It also kept me accountable. Finally, confessing my sins taught me humility. I no longer exalt myself over another. And I am reminded daily that, yet born a sinner, there is forgiveness and deep abiding joy in God.
I wish to thank you for taking the time to read about my very personal journey with God! May you have a blessed day or night and may you find hope along your journey too!
With all the love of Christ within me,
Donna L. Young.
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To read this author's personal testimony please go to: http://dlouyoung.blogspot.com/p/store.html