Monday, July 29, 2013


It isn’t for God’s sake that we confess. When we hold on tight to things that are not good for us, we suffer.  (Martha Spong, Reflectionary)
I read that in Martha's post, and was struck by it.   Does it speak to you?

Do we ever think that God requires us to confess in order for God to grant forgiveness?  Is that really the way it works?  I don't think so.

I think the necessity of confession is that if we continue to hold on to our sins, we suffer -- we are not able to receive the grace of forgiveness that God offers to us.  God doesn't withhold the forgiveness, but we refuse to take it.  For grace to be freely given by God, then it must be freely given.  Freely given is freely given -- without requirement or hoop-jumping.  Who is their right mind would refuse a free gift?

We do.

Do we place strings on our own forgiveness of others?  Do we demand confession and apology?  Do we ever wish that someone would confess / apologize because we believe it would be a good choice for the other person?  That it would lead to healing?  Or are we just withholding the "grace" of forgiveness until the other person humbles him or herself?  Who would do that?

We would.

Think for a moment of a time when you offered an apology to someone else, freely given.  Or a time when you confessed to God.  Did you feel that lightening of burden?  Do you remember the freedom that was received?  When we hold on, we suffer.

Also from that same post -- A sin is a sin is a sin. The truism is actually a truth. For God, any sin we confess is a sin forgiven. They are all alike.  We often say that a sin is a sin is a sin, but I think we are telling ourselves that they are all bad.  Martha is pointing out that are sins is sin is sin -- and all can be forgiven.

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