Just a warning, these devotionals are going to start out looking like a feel-good story. Then stuff is going to get real. Buckle the seatbelt!
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
…story began on Day 3…
In the Catholic church, confession is a sacrament. A sacrament is usually defined as a visible sign of God’s grace. They are the means that God uses to give to us and, therefore, also the way in which we receive something from God.
I learned something important in my conversations with Jim. I learned how freeing it can be to confess without being defensive. So often in life, we are tempted to taint our confessions through offering a defense of our actions. That looks like this: “You’re right, I did ______ and it was wrong. But, ______ was going on and that contributed to my wrongdoing.” You see in those sentences a confession followed by a defense. We all know the old saying about how the truth always follows the “but”.
We, humans that is, are often tempted to fight when we feel threatened. When I say “threatened” I’m not just referring to a physical threat but also to things that threaten our self-image. When people criticize us, we feel threatened. Am I not as good/smart/kind/caring as I think I am? More often than not, we don’t really want to confront that possibility so we won’t truly consider that question. We’ll ignore it and move on to defending ourselves so we don’t actually have to take stock of who we are.
It’s always easier to assume that problems our not ours to fix, isn’t it? It seems like it’s easier to live with ourselves if we believe that problems must be someone else’s responsibility.