A few weeks ago Gary wrote about confession. As I thought about confession and remembered back to the many times in our life where I was on the receiving end of confession, I realized that confession is such a different experience depending which side of the confessing you are on. I decided to share a little about confession from the eyes of the one receiving confession.
For Gary, confessing was about truth telling, breaking free from the chains that held him captive, and releasing the shame that bound him to his sin. It was scary, actually terrifying, because he stood to lose everything when he revealed the truth. In a strange way, confessing all his sins regarding his sexual addiction was actually life giving. God uses our honesty and breaks our hearts over our sin.
For me confession was devastating, heart-breaking, and trust wrecking. It was potentially damaging to my soul. If I wasn’t careful it was an invitation for Satan to use the sadness, anger, and hurt to get me to seek revenge on my husband. Thankfully, I was surrounded by wise counsel that advised me to “keep watch, and be aware” that Satan would try to use this angle to try to continue to destroy our souls and marriage. Scripture warns against this in Galatians.
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But WATCH YOURSELF, or you also may be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
If you are on the receiving end of confession, I caution you. Be on guard! Satan is lurking. Because the one confessing is finding freedom from his grip. He knows that confession brings healing, redemption, and forgiveness. He will do everything in his power to continue to destroy your marriage and your soul. Satan then moves to continue the destruction of the marriage by trying to thwart forgiveness. He will tell you that it’s ok to want revenge, or to make your loved one pay. I’m not going to lie, at the time, it sounds good. It even feels “fair” and just. DO NOT LISTEN TO HIS LIES! Be sure to surround yourself with wise and Godly counsel. The wrong advice or direction could send you into a whirlwind of destruction and further damage to you, your marriage and your soul.
God longs to use the truth revealed for HIS glory and goodness. His desire is for confession to be life giving and redeeming to our relationships, of all kinds. Good friends of ours Justin and Trisha Davis wrote a book called Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Isn’t Good Enough”. In it, they talk about the definition of intimacy stating that Intimacy is “being fully known” We often connect intimacy with our sexual relationship, However, By definition, intimacy begins with truth telling and confession. Let us be good truth tellers as well as good truth receivers.