“Nothing is as freeing as confessed sin. Nothing is as isolating as a guilty secret. And that is why the Enemy wants you to keep your sins a secret. If you keep your sins a secret, you will be trapped in the cage of guilt the rest of your life. The only way out is confession.”- Mark Batterson
” ‘I’m going out to fish,’ Simon Peter told them, and they said, ‘We’ll go with you.’ Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that is was Jesus.”- John 21:3-4 (NIV)
Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 5 of Wild Goose Chase as he discusses the topic of conditioned reflexes. The first example of this in Scripture is when Adam and Eve hid from God after sinning. And even today, little has changed. As a result, when we try to hide our sin we end up in a cage of guilt.
Certainly, Pastor Batterson stresses, confession represents the only way out of our cage of guilt. For God completely forgives our sins when we confess them to Him. But, Mark exhorts, it’s also crucial that we engage in one of the least-practiced spiritual disciplines in Scripture. Confessing our sins to one another. The author explains:
“You know why you need to confess your sins? It’s not just to ease your guilty conscience. You need to confess so that the person you’re confessing to knows that they aren’t alone.”
Finally, several weeks after Peter denied Jesus, he proclaimed that he was going out to fish. Perhaps Peter simply wanted to go fishing. But, Mark admits, part of him wonders if postdenial Peter thought his career as a disciple had bitten the dust.
Hence, when we fail, we’re naturally inclined to revert to our old ways. Therefore, guilt shrinks our dreams, our relationships, hearts, and lives to the size of our greatest failures.
In contrast, grace expand all those things. Above all, grace gives us the courage to chase the Wild Goose – to the ends of the earth. Thus, Mark asks us to think of grace and sin in this way:
- Sin – grace = Guilt
- Sin + grace = Gratitude
Today’s question: How have you experienced the freedom of confessed sin? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Failure to plan = planning to fail”