I unexpectedly discovered that I have a very, very negative association, a nasty feeling in my belly, around the word confess... maybe its because I have watched too many "cop" shows, where "getting a confession" is something that the good guys do to the bad guys, often under duress. The threat of pain &/or punishment, emotional manipulation, & even downright blackmail are all fair game in the pursuit of a confession. And when a confession is finally worked out of the "perp", they're left as a broken, weak, vulnerable mess.
Transfer this context to the scriptures - & the instruction we're given to 'confess our sins to one another,' & that a part of repentance is the confession, the owning up to our sin, our wrongdoing. I found myself thinking, "if confession is like what I'm associating it with, it doesn't go along with what we know of God & His nature as revealed in the Scriptures & in the person of Jesus Christ - meaning, He is always, now & forever, a predictably good God - & doesn't put us through torture, torment, & blackmail in order to sweat a confession out of us.
So when I was chasing the Rabbit of Confession, I decided to take a look at what words the Bible writers used to get a better picture of the intended definition for confess in the original language.
And the definitions for confess, with the deluxe Strong's Concordance Word # next to each:
ἐξομολογέω - exomologeō - CONFESS: G1843 - to confess, to profess; acknowledge openly and joyfully; to one’s honour: to celebrate, give praise; to profess that one will do something, to promise, agree, engage...
ὁμολογέω – homologeō – CONFESS: G3670 - to say the same thing as another; to confess, to admit or declare one’s self guilty of what one is accused of; to profess; to declare openly, speak out freely; to profess one’s self the worshipper of one; to praise, celebrate...
To acknowledge openly & joyfully... my sins? To celebrate... where I've blown it? How could I do that? And why would I? Hmmm.
I let what I'd read sink in, & really meditated on it for several days; still, I couldn't come to grips with what this might mean, what it would look like, lived out in the context of my life, as I would REPENT, ask God to change my thinking & to transform me...
And then today, a light bulb went on.
Confession goes hand in hand with repentance - & can be celebrated, acknowledged openly & joyfully, not because our sins are so great & legendary that they're to be celebrated. Not at all - sin ends up in death & destruction. Always. Every time. And there's nothing to celebrate about that. BUT...
There IS something to be celebrated in the freedom that comes from confessing as a part of our repenting... from bringing sin & wrongdoing into the light . When I confess to God (& to another trustworthy, faithful person) I am not being self-deprecating; I'm agreeing with God's assessment of sin. And by bringing it to the light, I also bring it to the One person who is able to forgive me of my wrongdoing, & who has promised in His Word to not only forgive me, but to purify & cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
Hmmm. So I'm starting to get it. I think. I just know that my belly doesn't hurt anymore.
And in other thoughts... in some ways, I can't wait for baseball season to start already. I can only hope that the games will provide a welcome distraction from the daily barrage of accusations/revelations/discussions about PEDs, steroids, & HGH. Still, I'm not holding my breath.
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you... Woo woo woo.
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson? ‘Joltin Joe’ has left and gone away? Hey hey hey. Hey hey hey.