Good for the Soul

Why is it so hard to admit that I am wrong?  It’s much easier to hold on to our strengths than to acknowledge our weaknesses and shortcomings. 

Take the rich young ruler for instance (Mark 10:17-27). He was careful to obey the Ten Commandments. He was a good moral man. He was the kind of guy you’d want your daughter to marry. He was probably commended for his good living by those important to him. He won their approval and accolades. 

But, he knew deep down something was wrong with himself. He ran to Jesus. Perhaps, he wanted Jesus’ commendation and accolades for his good living. He wanted to hear Jesus say, “Wow!  You’re really a good person and have accumulated great wealth. I don’t see that in many people around here. You stand out like the stars on a cloudless night!”  

However, Jesus found something amiss in the young man’s soul as he looked with love upon him. His love caused him to want this man to be emotionally healthy through emotional honesty. 

To be emotionally honest with ourselves is hard and painful to do because it involves confession. It’s hard to admit who we really are. Its hard to look inside ourselves and see what Jesus sees. It’s hard to confess that we have deficiencies. 

What if the rich young ruler had confessed his greed?  What if he had said, “You’ve hit the nail on the head. I have a problem holding on to my wealth. I hoard my money. I’m greedy. I’ve inherited it, and I’ve increased my holdings. I hold on to it with a vice grip and I have a problem.”

But, the rich young ruler didn’t admit his guilt of greed. He turned his back on Jesus’ love and compassion for him. He walked away sorrowful because he owned much property and couldn’t part with any of it. 

Confession is always hard and painful. It’s too easy to remain as we are and live with regrets.  It’s too easy to hold on to what we have rather than admit our greed. 

We must take a searching moral inventory of our emotional hang-ups like greed and confess it, or we will never be free to enjoy the gift of emotional and spiritual freedom that Christ wants for us. We will carry a burden weighed down by regret and shame going away sorrowful. 

When Christ reveals our greed like he did with the rich young ruler or reveals some other emotion that blocks us from experiencing a full and abundant life, we should let go of whatever we are holding on to and confess our shortcomings. 

Open confession is good for the soul. Nothing brings more ease and more life to a man than a frank acknowledgment that some of our emotions may be out of whack and need redeeming. 

Confession cleanses the soul like rain cleanses the dust in the air. Confession restores the vigor of living and declares to ourself, God, and perhaps others that we know and own up to our dark side. Confession is the trumpet that crumbles our defensive walls and opens up our vulnerability and humanness strangely making us transparent and open. 

And, if people look inside our transparent hearts and don’t like what they see, so be it. God is pleased, and that is all that really matters. The Lord accepts, affirms, and transforms us through the miracle of confession!  We don’t have to hide behind our walls that keep us from revealing who we really are. We have faced and confessed who we are and what we’ve done seeing ourselves as God see us. And, that is liberating. That is healing. 

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed (James 5:16). 


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