Is confession really good for the soul?

Pr. 28:13:  “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

I witnessed a beautiful example of this a few months ago.  Someone that I know was caught in an act of sin.  Ashamed and determined to regain trust, this person then decided that immediate confession was imperative.  I was present as they confessed their sin to their spouse.

I watched the range of emotions that came with that confession.  Satan tries to convince us that sin only affects us, and that everything is fine, but sin hurts, and no one is immune.

Had this person covered their sin, it would have eaten away at their soul, and caused their sin to grow and lead to other sinful habits.  Not only that, but their loved one may have found out so late and after so many lies, that trust could not have been rebuilt.

Fortunately, God’s Word is true.  Even with the pain that this confession brought, the fact that the truth was told gave their spouse a chance to choose to offer forgiveness, mercy, and grace.  I heard this person’s spouse say, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Ro. 3:23.

We all sin.  None of us want to admit it, but the fact remains.  I was very much in awe of this person who chose to confess and be held accountable.  What an admirable example for us all.

And what an amazing example I saw in their spouse as well.  If a broken, sinful spouse can forgive and offer mercy, how much more does our Father in Heaven offer to us.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life one’s friends.  God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Eph. 2:4-5 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…”

We may not all receive mercy from others while on this earth, but Christ died to offer us mercy ahead of time.  He has already paid the price for our sins, and His mercy and forgiveness are available to us all.  That is worth a confession.

Inspired,

jamie

Scripture references John 15:13, Ro. 3:23, Ro. 5:8

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Pouring out sweet freedom

Pr. 27:9:  “Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.” 
Having just spent the morning playing with essential oils, this verse about perfume delighting the heart certainly stands out for me.

And is it surprising that my reading in Acts this morning also speaks to this verse?  In Acts 15 we find that “certain men” came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren of Gentiles that unless they were circumcised, they could not be saved.

The teaching certainly caused many to become troubled and upset.  The apostles and elders then met to discuss the matter and were reminded that it was the Holy Spirit who acknowledged the Gentiles and not men themselves.  James recited the words God spoke through Amos that said that all mankind could seek the Lord, “Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name.”

The Holy Spirit did not call us to place burdens upon our fellow believers.  John 8:36 tells us that, “If the Son (Jesus) makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Just as ointment and perfume delight the heart, sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.  Those believers who had been troubled received a letter declaring that no excess burdens would be placed upon them.  Vs. 31 says, “When they read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.”

Let’s make a pact that going forward we will allow the Holy Spirit to the Holy Spirit’s job; and that our hearty counsel will not trouble our friends or add excess burdens upon them, but that the freedom that was given through Jesus Christ will be poured upon them like a healing ointment and the sweetest of all perfumes.

Hoping to delight some hearts,

jamie

Today’s exhortation

Pr. 5:8:  “Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.”

This chapter is labeled, ‘The Peril of Adultery.’  Solomon is warning about keeping away from an immoral woman.  He doesn’t offer the smoothest come backs or correct excuses to give.  He doesn’t talk about how you should interact properly with her.  He says remove your way far from her, and don’t even go near the door of her house.  Just stay as far away as you can…indefinitely.

This same caution can be used for any sin or temptation.  If you’re tempted to steal, do not even go to the stores where you are tempted.  Since you may still have to shop for your family, and you must enter a tempting store, you need someone with you at all times to watch over and keep you accountable.  Let it even be your kids, who can watch your example of not giving in to temptation.  The temptation is not a sin!

Just fill your temptation in the blank.  The same rules apply.  This morning, I read in Hebrews 3:13 that says we should exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  We are supposed to urgently appeal to and strongly encourage one another in the area of temptation and sin.

Temptations offer a fantasy that never comes true.  We’re continually lured by the delusion that giving in to our temptations will bring us the peace, joy, and satisfaction that we seek.  The sad truth is that the damage of sin is always evident after the temptation has been given into.  The more we sin, the easier satan has it in trying to keep us in that sin.

I exhort you today to remove your way far from sin.  Do not even go near to the temptations you know you have.  When you are faced with a new temptation, turn and flee.  Don’t even question it.  God will honor your obedience and will work the details out for your good.  He will show Himself strong on your behalf as you have shown yourself loyal to Him.

Ask for help from another if you need to.  Let someone else watch how you plan Not to sin.  Perhaps that will encourage them to do the same.  Remember that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  If the you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then the Holy Spirit lives within you and love, joy, and peace are His fruit that will grow in your life.

If you need those things, then the Lord is where you find them.  If you need to be loved unconditionally, look to the cross, to the One who gave His life for YOU!  If you need exhilaration, look no further.  When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, it brings pure joy!  Remember how David danced before the Lord with all his might in 2 Samuel 6:14?  That was pure, untainted joy.  Find your joy, peace, satisfaction, and love in the Lord today.  He has all that and more just for you.

Joyfully fleeing,

jamie