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Confession is Good for the Soul

So it’s said, “confession is good for the soul.” I believe it is in that it enables us to rid ourselves of burdens we have a tendency to carry longer than helpful. I had a professor in seminary who used to say that if we honestly examine ourselves, including confession, we often discover that “our dragons in the basement are actually mice with megaphones.”

Confession has fallen out of favor in many circles, because it is so hard to admit that we flat screwed up. It’s so much easier to claim victimhood, or simple bad choices, or even a newly found “growing edge.” The simple fact is, we are both, to quote Martin Luther, “simultaneously saint and sinner.” Many times the saint in us causes us to rise to the full extend or our personhood. But, too often, the sinner in us causes us to hurt others by treating them in unloving ways. The saint opens our eyes to see the world as God sees the world; wonder-filled but broken. The sinner causes us to see only our narrow perceived needs.

Aristotle once observed that “a life unexamined is a life not worth living.” I’m thinking about all of this as I watch our body politic increasingly fracture, not only in Washington, but in our own communities. I’m thinking about all of this as we ignore the world 12 inches past the end of our nose. I’m thinking about this as the old way, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” becomes the way we relate to one another.

I have a high school classmate who is a lawyer of some success. He once told me that if people would only confess their wrongdoings and offer heartfelt apologies, he’d be out of business.

In this period between Easter and Pentecost, I invite you to a time of self-examination. Of what do you need to confess? From whom are you estranged? Where do you need the healing power of God in your life, changing the heart?  Spend time with God. Make part of that an honest assessment of your life. Ask God for the healing that comes from confession and repentance.

In a related matter, we will witness a great confession in the upper room as we encounter Thomas and Jesus together Sunday.

See you then.


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