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There is an unexpected way to rely radically on grace that can grow your faith and deepen your relationship with God. Give it a try.
I am going through Max Lucado’s devotional, “God is With You Every Day” this year and this morning’s reading really stuck with me.
The topic of the day was confession.
Now, quite honestly, I would much rather read about seeking joy and loving others because they are so much more comfortable.
Seeking God’s peace by Him leading me by still waters?
That sounds nice. Let’s just stay there awhile.
Shining His light to those in my life?
That’s exciting and empowering.
But confession makes me squirm.
It makes me not only confront my sinfulness, but actively share it, whether that’s with God or trusted people in my life. And, boy is that something I definitely don’t look forward to.
But Max described confession in a way I’ve never heard before.
He defines confession as a radical reliance on grace.
Rely Radically on Grace
The sentence stopped me in my tracks and I probably read the line 5 times before starting to grasp its significance.
The other day, my 4-year-old nephew was supposed to be going inside to wash his face after our picnic lunch in the backyard. A few minutes later, he reappeared outside and his face was still unwashed. If that wasn’t suspicious enough, his lips were covered in a smattering of dark crumbs.
I knew immediately that he had snuck his way into the package of Oreos on the kitchen counter, but we are trying to reinforce honesty in him these days, so I tried to give him a chance to come clean by pointing out that his face was still unwashed and asking what he’d done inside (in a very normal, gentle tone, might I add).
Oh, he was so uncomfortable! He couldn’t make eye contact with me, he was squirming all over the place, and he just kept repeating over and over again, “I just don’t want to tell you because I’m afraid you will punish me!”
Now, he did end up telling me eventually and we decided together that it would be fair that he lost his dessert the next day, but isn’t that a familiar feeling to us all?
I already knew my nephew had eaten the cookie, just like God already knows every sin we fall into, but still, actually sputtering those words and confessing our actions is difficult.
Putting words to our actions adds another level of taking personal responsibility for our choices. It’s uncomfortable and scary and I think I mentally squirm just about as much as this sweet little 4-year-old did.
I’m not saying making mistakes and falling into sin should be a comfortable thing. Some of that uncomfortableness is what helps to guide us away from making those same mistakes in the future.
But don’t make your sin bigger than your God.
The definition of a Christian life is not innocence. It’s not perfection or flawlessness.
It is not about the absence of sin, but instead the presence of Christ.
And Christ’s presence in your life brings an ocean of grace that is big enough to wash your sins away, as far as the east is from the west.
Our honest confessions, without being couched between finger-pointing and excuses, are a bold testament to our trust in God. It’s fully believing that He still loves us the same, despite our messing up (yet again).
It is knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that His promises are true and Jesus’ work on the cross was enough, even for me.
Those vulnerable, messy, genuine confessions are a powerful way that we can rely radically on grace.
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