Confess, Not Regress


I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Psalms 32:5

A few years ago, I experienced a major financial setback. It was only partly my fault, but I felt responsible-furious with myself. And I soon found myself slipping back into old, self defeating behaviors such as rehearsing my failure over and over again to God. A loving friend who heard me praying asked,” Don’t you believe that once you have confessed this area to the Lord, He wipes the slate clean? Are you trying to pay penance?” That was exactly what I was doing. I also was downgrading myself for not being perfect, trying to make up for my failure by working harder, and becoming irritable toward those I loved-another old pattern.

One day I stopped my frantic activity and did a self-evaluation. I had to admit that in response to this crisis I had regressed-fallen back into old, dysfunctional habits. What I needed to do instead was to fall back on the stability of God’s grace. I needed to confess my failure but affirm my value. I needed to move toward relationship rather than away from it or against it. And I needed to say, “Of course I made a mistake. I”m human. Only God is perfect.” Once I did that, I could begin to deal with the consequences of my poor choices and put them behind me.

Prayer: Lord, when I face my weaknesses and mistakes, help me to confess rather than to regress.



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