Nuanced confession

By Dave Henning / June 3, 2016

“Just as a nebulous confession will result in a nebulous feeling of forgiveness, a nuanced confession will result in a more nuanced sense of forgiveness.”- Mark Batterson

“His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”- Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

As Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 7 of If, he writes that before he took a trip to Germany where he found himself in Wittenberg on Reformation Day, he read Roland H. Bainton’s biography of Martin Luther- Here I Stand.  One fact that struck Mark was that Luther spent up to six hours in a single session confessing his sin.  Mark says that resonated with him because he rarely spends more that six minutes in confession!  Bainton noted:

“Every sin, in order to be absolved, was to be confessed.  Therefore the soul must be searched and the memory ransacked and the motives probed.”

In Lamentations 3:22-23, the English word new is the Hebrew word hadas.  It would be amazing if hadas simply meant again and again.  But hadas means new as in different, never before experienced (emphasis Mark’s).  Mark states that God’s mercy is uniquely tailored to your specific sins and shortcomings.  And a nuanced confession of your sin leads to a nuanced appreciation of God’s mercy.  “Mercy,” Mark clarifies, “is not getting what you deserve.  Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.”

God wants to use your past regrets for His eternal purposes.  Satan, however, has an entirely different and diabolical purpose in mind, as Pastor Batterson contrasts:

“The enemy wants to leverage it [your regrets] against you- blackmailing you with feelings of shame.  God wants to leverage it for you.  Don’t let regrets stalk you the rest of your life.  Repentance is a restraining order against regret.  It’ll still come around new and then, but that’s when you make a beeline for the cross!”

Today’s question: How has nuanced confession enabled you to experience God’s tailored mercy?  Please share.

Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “Thy will be done”

Tomorrow’s blog: “As if- the second if”

About the author

Dave Henning

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