“The more afraid you are to tell (someone) about a certain act or thought…the more likely it is that confessing that particular thing will put a new crack in your denial and free you in a new area.”
J. Keith Miller, A Hunger For Healing
With this quote Miller points out the relationship between the depth of our secrets and the power they have over us. I can attest to the fact that the more I do not want to talk about something, the stronger that thing’s hold is on me. I have had thoughts and I have resisted temptations that I am ashamed of, and I have given in to temptations that I am even more ashamed of. I can see that in my addiction I was willing to go to any length to try to find satisfaction and relief from my pain. But of course pornography could never give lasting satisfaction, and any pain it relieved was always replaced by more pain than had existed before. The deeper I dug into my addiction the worse things got. The progressive nature of my addiction took me to lows I never thought I would go, especially in my mind. It is those things that are difficult to talk about or admit to another person. I want to stop at confessing those things to God and not say them out loud to another person.
Why is it so difficult for me to confess my sins? For starters, the church does not do a great job of discussing sexual sin, and these sins are often publicly treated as ‘worse’ than other sins. Talking about sexual sin with a Christian friend thus becomes exceedingly difficult for me because the topic is shrouded with so much silence and shame. I also struggle with the false belief that I am the only person who has had a particularly shameful thought or committed a particularly heinous sin. The feeling that I am isolated in my sin creates in me the urge to hide that sin from others for fear that they would abandon me if they knew the truth.
Of course the truth is that, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” and that, “no temptation has seized me, but what is common to man.”
But if I can find the courage, confessing my sins will put a crack in my denial. I can stop trying to convince God, myself, and everyone around me that I am basically a good person except for a few hidden areas. I can stop expending the time and energy necessary to maintain a ‘front’ of righteousness. I can finally admit that I am a Sinner with a capital S; I can stop hiding and pretending. By confessing my deep-seated sins I acknowledge their existence and truth; by acknowledging my sins I allow God to heal me. He cannot, or will not, heal a sin that I cannot, or will not, see.
Confession truly is the path to freedom.
What secret do you want to take to the grave? Will you consider freeing yourself of that terrible burden by confessing it to someone?