Proverbs 28:13 says “The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.” (HCSB)
The word “sin” turns many people off and they just stop listening, but it shouldn’t. The Hebrew word that is translated into English as “sin” simply means “to miss the mark”. It refers to any failing or fault. It is any time we fail to live up to our potential. The original word has such deeper meaning than we are able to give it by rendering it into just one word for a translation.
What is sin? It is gossiping. It is overeating. It is a fear of failure that is so crippling that we never even start. It is any time we trust in our own ways rather than trusting God. Sure, it is also the usual that we think of when we think of sin – lying, stealing, murder, and the like. But boiled down to the bones, sin is anything that we let rule our lives, anything that prevents us from living a whole and holy life.
Confessing our sins is the greatest form of strength. It is the greatest weapon we have against them. Let us think of confession as naming. It takes courage to name your sins.
It takes courage to say “I’m angry and I’ve let anger rule my actions.” It takes courage to say “I have a hard time with impulse control. I eat or say whatever I want without thinking about the consequences.” It takes courage to admit we need help. When we name our failings and faults we are bringing our wounds and our brokenness before the greatest healer of all, God. We say “I can’t do this on my own, and I need your help.” God heals us if we name our faults and then turn away from our misguided behavior.
It can be very hard to turn away. Bad habits are hard to break. They are the “devil you know”. You’d rather stick with them than do something new and healthy. But by naming our faults, we are like so many people who went up to Jesus for healing.
Let us briefly look at one of the many stories of Jesus healing a blind man. This one is to be found in Matthew 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52, and Luke 18:35-43.
…. Jesus asked him “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus said, “Teacher I want to see!”….
Jesus knew very well what Bartimaeus needed. But the issue is – did Bartimaeus? Only after naming his weakness was Jesus able to heal him.
Let us continue with a little more of the story.
…. Moved with compassion, Jesus said “Open your eyes. Your faith has healed you.”…
Often Jesus said to people “Do you believe I can heal you?” And they said “Yes!” Then he simply said “Your faith has healed you.”
Believing that Jesus can heal you is the healing. But first you have to name your weakness, to confess it. Give it to God, and God will turn your weakness into God’s glory. The thing is, can you name your own problem?
Naming it takes away its power. It means it isn’t you. You are a child of God. You aren’t alcoholism, or compulsive gambling, or lying. Naming the problem helps you separate it from your idea of yourself and helps God heal you.
If you can’t yet name your problem, then give that to God. Say “God, please help me to recognize where I need healing.” God will enter into your heart right where you are, right as you are, right then, and begin the process of healing you. You aren’t alone.