John Burke claims that the church environment which allows people to grow spiritually is one of acceptance and authenticity. I think he’s right. And I wonder if it’s because a culture of acceptance and authenticity is one that allows people the freedom to confess their sins. And I wonder if a person can grow spiritually, or how much they can grow spiritually, with unconfessed sin.
In today’s reading (Psalm 32 and 33) David describes his inner life when he had unconfessed sin (wasting away, groaning, strength sapped) and after he had confessed (blessed, forgiven, protected, rejoicing). It’s like: That’s our choice.Which of those two lives will we choose? And the doorway out of wasting away/groaning/strength sapped is to confess our sins (to God, and trusted people).
Seems like an easy choice, except that it’s kind of like being stuck in the middle of a house that’s on fire, and you can feel the heat but the room you’re in is not yet blazing. To get out of the house you have to run through a door, but the hallway to that door is on fire. You realize that the house you’re in is going to soon burn to the ground, including the room you’re in, but even still, it feels like: Why would you choose to get scorched running through fire when you’re not currently on fire? Well, you’d choose it because, whether it feels that way or not, it is the only way to life.
And that’s what we need to do with our sin. We need to confess it, even though that path will suck, because we know that it’s the only path to life, and if we don’t, we’ll be consumed by it.