What is our deal, people?
Why are we so afraid of messing up? Why so quick to make excuses instead of accept that, from time to time, we mess up?
Here’s a fact we all know well: we fail.
We have shortcomings. From time to time, sometimes far more often than we intend, we sin. But if that were our only problem, perhaps things wouldn’t be so bleak. However, when we combine our tendency for messing up with a pervading sense of self-righteousness – that we have nothing to apologize for or confess – then we are really dealing with a destructive life.
Unfortunately, that is the case for so many Christians. Either out of fear of being judged, or a desire to avoid what we assume will be a choking blanket of shame smothering us the moment we admit the specific ways we struggle, we avoid the act of honestly confessing our shortcomings and sins to one another. So, our churches are full of people who live according to the “don’t-ask-don’t-tell-and-pray-you-don’t-slip-up-publicly” way of the world, rather than according to the transformative, glorious, core truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A gospel that, in a Romans 8:1 nutshell, states, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!”
On this episode of The DBC Podcast, I sat down with regular co-hosts Mark Paul (Minister with Students) and Allen Taliaferro (Discipleship Intern) to discuss the deep-set human tendency to ignore, dodge, or shirk any evidence that we have failed, or that we have struggles, or that we come up short in our individual pursuits of happiness. Our conversation centered on how Christians have a hope that transforms all relationships, and yet we persist in trying to defend or justify ourselves rather than live into the reality of total acceptance Jesus has for us, and desires the Church to have for its members. In truth, we should celebrate, rather than sweat, the act of confession. Confession to God and to others.
We’d love to hear your own stories of failure. In fact, the comments section of this post can be a kind of confessional. Let’s confess our sins one to another as the book of James encourages. But what if someone else reads it? you say with exasperation, clutching your pearls! To that, I say, Good! Let’s be open. Let’s be honest. Let’s be people of love who draw all inspiration from the complete lack of condemnation and shame God gives us.
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