Welcome Readers and Purposeful Faith’s #RaRaLinkup Friends!
I hope you enjoyed the Grounded Series that tween daughter and I hosted last month. It was fun, but it’s nice to be back on my regular blogging schedule. Be sure to add your encouraging words to the linkup!
Freedom Found Through Authenticity
Psalm 32:1-2 “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.”
The air was musty as I sat in the balcony of the old theater, turned church. I’d heard the pastor speak before, but tonight was different.
He began confessing how he and his wife had struggled to remain pure in their dating years—while he was on staff at another church. He explained they had come clean to the Lord but they had never revealed their sin to that congregation. They now felt the need to confess their past sin to this church.
You could hear a pin drop, except for the furnace thumping below in an effort to warm the old building. I listened attentively from my vantage point, impressed by his courage to reveal this hidden part of his life.
After the pastor finished his confession, he asked the crowd to forgive him.
As impacting as this was, something else happened that night that I will never forget.
The pastor said something to this effect, “In a group this size I am sure there are others who have secret sins also. We want to provide an opportunity for you to confess those things to the Lord and also to those gathered here, if that is needed. I am going to open the mic up and, if you feel led, you can come and confess those things. This is a safe place to share.”
No one came, at first.
But then, one by one, people came up and confessed their sins. I knew many of the people that came forward. Their sins were shocking: deceit, self-pleasure, pornography, drugs, premarital sex, attempted suicide. But their repentance was real.
You could see the weight lifted from their shoulders as they gave up secrets they had carried for years.
With their repentance came new-found freedom and lightness now that the darkness was exposed. I had more respect than ever before for those who courageously revealed their sins.
Grace was present—wrapped in a bow of humility.
Prior to this evening, for as long as I can remember, I strove to be flawless. I worked hard to make others believe that I had it all together; I didn’t. In light of all the confessions, I felt like I could breathe. I didn’t have to perfect. My artificial exterior was shed as a truer version of myself emerged from that dark, musty theater.
I had permission to be human, not to go and sin, but to live authentically.
Freedom rang loudly that night. It was a liberating atmosphere as forgiveness was given to repentant people and hope was restored to hurting people.
Psalm 32:5 “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD‘ — and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
As the church bells ring may it remind us of the freedom that is ours in Jesus. He came as a gift so that we can experience forgiveness for our sins—both the obvious and hidden kind. He humbled himself so that we can be wrapped in grace and breathe deeply of his love.
Authentic living is costly but it is also worth it.
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