George, Jesus, James, and Juno

(Scroll down and pause the uber cool soundtrack and enjoy the multi media experience of this entry)

Ok, who doesn't love that clip? Better yet, who isn't convicted by that clip? Have you ever felt that the opposite of your instincts must be right? Me too. Do you know why? Because it's true. Our flesh will always compete with the Gospel. Our flesh will always compete with Christ.

Need an example? Ok. One word - confession. Still with me? Let's be honest - most of us would rather have our fingernails pulled out one at a time by a pair of rusty pliers than to confess our sins to people.

Why are we so scared of confession? You know, I'm all about the Reformation. BIG fan. Luther and I are tight, ok? I sometimes think, though, that in a hyper reaction against all things Catholic, we tossed out a whole lot of stuff that was really good.

Confession may be one of those things - not in the sense that we need a mediator between us and God - we don't. Jesus is that for us. But there is something to confessing to another person - it's empowering to confess and be accepted. Wait a minute - could it be that the Bible is right? Really?

Fact is, that it is going to happen whether we want it to or not. Why? Because Jesus says so. Now, many of us believe that all we need to do is to confess to God, right? I mean, if he knows, what's the point of telling another person? Why should I? How can that possibly help me? What's the point? How many more questions can I come up with to filibuster and hopefully avoid this?

Not confessing our sins to another person is hypocrisy in it's rawest form. The word hypocrisy comes from the Greek word for play acting - to wear a mask. Most of us have done that right? We feel so inherently unlovable that we cover up our failures and shortcomings so that people will love the role we play. They aren't loving us, they are loving the mask we wear.

Those of us who have been in 12 step meetings can tell you that they are incredibly freeing. Why? Because anyone can confess anything in there and no one will freak out, and they will maintain confidence. It's true intimacy, and it should really grind your gears that 12 step groups do a better job of dispensing grace than most churches.

In honestly confessing to others, our hypocrisy is slowly replaced by true humility. Our masks begin to loosen and eventually fall off and we learn that not only is forgiveness real, but that we can be truly loved in spite of our imperfection. This is a big moment in life. I lived trapped in a world that I was sure would not love me if they knew I made a mistake - any kind of mistake. It's incredibly freeing to know that it is not true. You have to confess to find that out.

Jesus says in Luke 12 "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops." It's pretty clear isn't it?

When we keep the secrets, they gnaw at our souls, don't they? It takes a great deal of work to keep secrets. They keep you trapped in the paralyzing fear of being found out. They keep you from moving forward. They keep you playing a part. They keep you wearing a mask. They keep you a hypocrite.

There's a canyon of difference between coming clean and getting caught. Coming clean is much easier, and I think we all get that - it's just that it's easier for someone else to do it.

James writes, "Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed."

You see, we need the Body of Christ. We need community. Going it alone in spiritual matters is rarely a good idea, right? We're not meant to go it alone. We are not meant to isolate. We are meant to the opposite of what we feel is right. Our instinct is to cover our sin up. To hide our imperfection, but that instinct is wrong!

When George confesses his true state, the result is much better! And he has the opportunity to start a truly intimate relationship instead of his typical hypocritical relationships as a marine biologist or an architect.

Confession reminds us we are loved. We are not alone, and we may actually get some help and guidance. Watch Juno confess to her parents that she is pregnant.

Clearly, it's not perfect, but still a supportive family. We need to have safe people in our lives that we can confess our sins to. You can do it because you serve a Savior who beat death and his Holy Spirit lives inside you which is why you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Does it feel like the opposite of what you want to do? Good. Go find a safe person and do it.

3 Response to "George, Jesus, James, and Juno"

  • Michael Says:

    A long time ago, after leaving the Catholic church (but before I was a Christian) I lived with the delusion that I didn't need to confess my sins to anyone other than God.
    But after a short time, of living in this delusional thought, my sins made it really hard to keep going before God and asking him to forgive me - yet again.
    What I missed was hearing a human voice say that they still loved me, that they still accepted me, that they weren't repulsed by my sins. When I found it so hard to love myself, hearing this acceptance of my confession was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.

  • Michael Says:

    OK, I forgot to add - I'm going nuts because the Seinfeld video has no sound?? Can you send some link love to a youtube (or other) version, please?

  • Tal Prince Says:

    Hey Michael,

    Thanks for stopping by! Don't know what happened with the audio. I've redone the clip, so now all should be well.

    You are so right. There's something about another human telling you that you are still loved that really helps. It's the body of Christ, isn't it? It's a beautiful and necessary experience, I believe.

    It does strike us the opposite of what we would normally do, but we just may wind up working for the Yankees, right? ;)