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.
Add your encouraging post to the #RaRaLinkup below!
Betsy de Cruz says
Katie, thank you SO MUCH for your words today. They mean so much to me. In my own life, I’ve also discovered that when you confess your sin to another, somehow the enemy loses power. That sin loses power over you when you bring it to light. So freeing. I’ve seen it in my own life. Thank you for such an authentic message.
You are most welcome lovely Betsy. 🙂
Kristi Woods says
Authencity is where the spiritual rubber meets the road. Without it, it seems as though the devil has one up on the “stealing” portion of our lives, doesn’t. What a beautiful testimony you’ve shared, Katie. #goJesus
Hi Kristi- The song “I took back what he stole from me” comes to mind. 🙂 So glad that Jesus has defeated the accuser of the brethren! Too often we hide to try and keep ourselves “safe” yet we find freedom as we confess our sin and receive Jesus’ forgiveness and walk in His grace.
Michele Morin says
Thanks, Katie, for wearing the Purposeful Faith mantle today! Blessings on your week!
Thank you dear Michele 🙂
Joelle Povolni says
It’s amazing how when the truth comes to light, freedom is found, and the enemy loses his power in that area of your life. God is so good!! Thank you for your words!!
Hi Joelle- Yes indeed! May God strengthen you today as you embrace the freedom that is yours, in Christ. 🙂
Candace Playforth says
What a beautiful gift that pastor gave everyone! Grace really does provide so much freedom. I think there’s something incredibly special about confessing our sins to others. Thanks for that reminder today, Katie :).
Hi Candace- I love that “Grace really does provide so much freedom.” Amen. It changes everything.
Joanne Viola says
I so appreciated this post. It is good to remind ourselves that none are holy apart from our Lord. None perfect. May we live out our faith in authenticity – even though it requires great courage. Blessings!
Hi dear Joanne! Yes, He is Holy indeed. What grace, that He makes us Holy because of His free gift to us- salvation.
Pam Ecrement says
Thanks, Katie, for sharing this powerful story of grace. I think it is rare to find so much courage to confess as the pastor and others did in this story and sadly, it is also rare to find other Christians so full of grace to hear their stories and still love and accept them as well. May we all learn from this example.
Hi Pam- Yes, I think you’re right that it is rare but may we be courageous to live this out for others. “They will know we are Christians by our love.” I have so far to go in this area…so thankful for His grace!
What a beautiful message of being real and not perfect. So thankful God is teaching me over and over that He takes our realness and wraps it up in forgiveness and grace. Blessings to you!
Beautiful reflections Carlie- I’m so glad that His garment of righteousness and His cloak of grace covers us, through the finished work of the Perfect One, Jesus!
Casey Capra says
Beautiful post. I am often caught up in trying to be perfect, too, so this is a great reminder that vulnerability – not in an effort to keep sinning, but to live in freedom – is crucial in Christian community
So true Casey- there was a true spirit of repentance that night. So thankful that God sets captives free!
Katie- this was perfect!
I uncovered via my blog that I was struggling with anxiety a few months ago. It feels like a weight is lifted when we unearth what we are trying to hide. In the unearthing, we find others who are struggling. Others like me can be the best encouragers in my battle.
I’m sharing this post today!
Blessings to you Katie!
Thank you for sharing this Julie. Oh the freedom that comes when we allow others to see us and help us. I admire your courage. May Jesus uphold you as you lean fully on Him.
Lisa Appelo says
“Authentic living is costly but it is also worth it.” A thousand yeses and amens. Authentic living is how we show that the gospel WORKS, that it is as true and redeeming today as it was when Jesus first breathed words to his followers. Love this, Katie.
Amen and amen dear Lisa!
Lisa notes says
Wow–I’m sure that was a service that people will never forget, both the hearers and the talkers. Courage and grace on display.
Yes Lisa–both hearers and talkers were changed! Glad you are here today. May His joy be your strength. 🙂
~ linda says
Oh, Katie…such freedom in the release. What a post with depth and fears and sins and freedom and so much more. Praising God for you…for sharing this.
Hi Linda- Yes, so thankful for the freedom that is ours in the finished work of Christ! Thanks for being here today. 🙂
Jeanne Takenaka says
Katie, thank you for sharing this post. My One Word this year has been Authentic. You’re so right in what you shared. 1) Before we can live in the freedom authenticity affords, we have to come clean with those things we’ve been hiding. Which requires us to trust God (and often others) in the sharing of them. And 2), as you shared, we need to come to the place where we can become real. It’s so easy to live hiding things within ourselves and putting on an exterior that looks perfect. But I believe striving to live with a perfect veneer leads to bondage, not freedom and breathing space.
Your post spoke to me. Thank you!
Sue Donaldson says
He meant it when He said, confession is good for the soul. great and powerful post, katie!
Donna Reidland says
Thanks, Katie & Kelly, for hosting and for sharing this powerful post!