Maximillian Amadeus Banzai (banzai) wrote,
Maximillian Amadeus Banzai

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Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

—Psalm 32:1-5

I fight confession the same way a child (and a few adults) fight going to bed. I know it's what I need, I know it's good for me, I know I enjoy the mercy and grace of my Abba, yet I'll drag my heels until they dig into the dirt, keeping me from going anywhere at all—until my bones waste away through my groaning all day long and my strength dries up as by the heat of summer.

The whys are pretty obvious. Pride is probably the biggest: I want to do things on my own, my way (just like bedtime from a child's perspective). I buck against having limits, and confession is all about limits. I'm staging my own little rebellion, and implicit in that is the idea that my will should prevail. God calls me to repentance, and I refuse to pick up the phone.

There's also, if I'm honest, fear. I know how dire sin is. Since He is perfect and holy, that calls for judgment. And while this world and I desperately need a God who is completely just, knowledge of what that means for my own sin produces fear. The measure to which I am afraid, however, is exactly the measure that I'm not believing the gospel—not believing that, because of God's love, Jesus has completely paid this penalty for me and for anyone who believes in Him; not believing that when God looks at me, He sees the righteousness of Christ and delights in me as a Son.

Those truths should have me running into His arms rather than trying to make my own way. Still I'm stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. The last part of why confession comes hard for me is that I don't want to give up my sin. It's still there because of what I still believe about Him, myself, and the world. It's how I cope with the things that hurt or threaten me, how I make my life work because I'm afraid He won't come through for me. It reveals where my faith truly lies.

The lens through which I've been looking at the world and myself for the past few weeks is this:
What must we believe to act as we do?
That question has framed how I read LiveJournal, how I observe and relate with others, and ultimately how I view myself. Confessing sin, at its root, requires a stark and honest answer to this. Without trusting God's grace (whether I can understand it or not), I don't think most of us are ready to face it.
Tags: belief, grace, livejournal, scripture, struggle, the gospel

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