The great news is that God knows me inside out. Regardless of how I view myself, or how I seek to present myself to others, God has me down for precisely who I am.
Some Christian traditions practise formal confession, where the penitent privately confesses to a priest. It is in strict confidence and many criticise the practice on the grounds that we can make full confession to God alone. Scripture makes it clear that Jesus is our great high priest who mediates for us. However, the power of the confessional lies in the fact that the penitent verbalises their sinfulness to a third party, thereby breaking all self-deceit, whatever form it might take.
There are times when we mistakenly think that life has taken a turn for the worse in some form of divine punishment for our wrongdoing. We can quickly locate some incidents of which we are ashamed and make a faulty connection – God punishes me for my wayward behaviours and wrong decisions. While there is a penalty awaiting those who fail to make their peace with God, God’s grace is at work all the time to seek to bring us to confession and restore our friendship with God.
God knows us intimately, and doesn’t trade a bad experience for every sin we commit. In recognising we are rotten to the core, and therefore only able to stand before God due to his gracious act of redemption, we are to admit our total dependence upon God. Bad things happen to all of us.
It’s no good looking for a sin to justify your circumstances or, worse still, pointing the finger at someone else in trouble and blaming it on their behaviour. God alone is our judge. We are here to encourage each other, recognise the fracture that is common to all humanity, and acknowledge that Jesus remains Lord in even the most appalling of personal circumstances.
(Dr Micha Jazz)
With many peaceful blessings