Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
Us Calvinists love to throw around Total Depravity. “I am a sinner!”, we cry from the pulpit and the pew. But when it comes to confessing our own specific sin in the moment, suddenly our depravity becomes as hard to nail down as jello.
“Well yes, in theory, I am a sinner… but I mean… not right now. Right now you are in sin and I am right. What’s that? Well no I am not obeying that verse right now… but that is because you are behaving so badly that I can’t obey that verse right now. The circumstances are so bad right now that God understands. … No, you confess first. … No! You confess first!”
Well someone needs to confess first, so it might as well be me.
At the heart of Calvinism is the idea that we have nothing to offer God, and despite that, He killed Himself chasing us down so He could have us for His own any way. But despite the fact that we can do nothing good with out Him, we still, in our flesh, want to be able to justify ourselves. We want to believe that we have something of our own to offer. The truth is, we can’t even take credit for our own repentance. Even that is granted to us by God.
This striving to justify ourselves, this little voice in the back of our minds that says some how we deserve our salvation just a tiny bit more than the next guy, is the same instinct that tells us to hide our sin. From the world, from the church and even from ourselves.
But God has commanded us to freely confess our sin.
One of the GREAT things about obeying scripture is that, after you do it, you begin to understand why God issued that commandment in the first place. You actually get a tiny peek into the mind of God.
And the mind of God was GENIUS when He told us confess our sin to each other! Because when we do it, it breaks sin’s power over us. We don’t have to hide in shame any more. We confess, we repent and it is wiped from God’s record.
If we truly believe in total depravity, confessing our sin becomes as easy as breathing in and out. We can repent more and more quickly and keep shorter and shorter accounts and become more and more free from the earthly consequences of sin.
To that end, and because God has commanded me, I freely confess that I am a lazy glutton. I love food and don’t exercise enough. Complex carbohydrates are my drug of choice. I am an addict.
This has been a problem for me for the last thirty years, but now it poses a new problem for me. Because of this tough little verse:
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
In starting this God Blog, I have set myself up as a teacher in The Church. Plus I should not be judging with a big, fat log in my eye. Plus, if I am in the Spirit, I will be living a self-disciplined life. Plus God require self-control of leaders in the church. While I am not technically an overseer, it is still a standard that, if I am serious about God and obedience to Him while teaching HIS word to HIS people, it would be unwise not to hold myself to this standard (especially because I hold other public preachers to this standard).
So it is exercise and restraint in eating for me as I God blog. And if I fall off that wagon, you won’t be hearing from me for a day or so while I repent and get back on that horse.
And please pray for me. Being an autism mom is hard and while I have not leaned on food (and TV while we are at it) to numb the huge pain and escape the frustration of those early years as heavily as I used to, my health has only improved a small amount in the last year or so.
As God is teaching us what it means to joyfully embrace what our ‘New Normal’ is now, I want to be someone who does not just survive being an autism mom, but thrives.
For the last few years I pictured myself, if I persisted until the end of the race that God has given me, being one of those runners whose legs have given out and who are barely conscious, crawling the last few miles on bloody hands and knees, collapsing dead at the end of the race with only the tips of my fingers over the finish line.
It is only in the last year or so that the idea has returned to me that I might be able to finish strong and dance on the other side of the finish line. I want to be that kind of runner.
And I am grateful to God for making my race a harder one than it used to be so that I could better understand that I really can’t run it under my own power, and I actually never could.