Between planting a church and my family, I tend to stay pretty busy. We have 5 children. My kids play sports, and my friends throw parties. My Saturdays are often filled with basketball games and work days at our new church building. All of this makes it easy for my yard work to get away from me. Of course, my HOA is always faithful to remind me if such a situation has arrived.
Covering Guilt and Shame
Because I live in a suburb and do not have a truck, I often have more clippings bagged up than what will fit in my trash can. It may take me two or three trash pick-up cycles to get all of my yard trimmings removed. Under this pile of bagged up trimmings is a world of darkness, bugs, and mildew.
When the last bag is removed, it doesn’t take long for the sunshine to drive away the darkness, push out the bugs, and dry up the moisture. A couple of days later, the grass is already starting to grow again. This is a picture of what happens when we cover our guilt and shame.
The truth is that all of us have done terrible things we aren’t proud of. Some of us have had unspeakable things done to us. We feel guilt. We feel shame. In the New Testament, James says that we should “confess our sins to each other to find healing” (James 5:15).
The Power of Confession
The Christian is to be a confessional person. The gospel is most powerful when it is proclaimed. And sin is most powerless when it is confessed. If we have trusted in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, then we are not the things we have done (guilt) and we are not the things that have been done to us (shame). We are fully forgiven and fully accepted because of Jesus.
That means we can speak freely about the things we’ve done and the things that have been done to us. Guilt and shame can only grow more powerful in the dark. But the gospel drives out the darkness. And healing is on the other side of confession.