Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.~James 5:16 NIV
Confessions from a homecoming queen are sometimes difficult.
The voice on the phone jolted my memory. Wasn’t this a girl from college asking me, a former homecoming queen, to attend a celebration for an upcoming event? Years ago, I shunned her. Rumor had it she had gotten mixed up in activities I would have avoided. Right then, conviction pierced my heart.
In college, my Christianity resembled a Pharisee. I disdained people who said they were Christians but didn’t show a strong faith. I lacked compassion for anyone who made mistakes. People just needed to follow the rules. They should know better, I thought. Now, my heart hurt over how I had judged her. This young girl needed mercy and loving support.
MENDING THE RELATIONSHIP
I sensed God wanted me to mend this relationship, so I accepted the invitation with a little anxiety, knowing I needed to face her. I hung up the phone, got on my knees, and prayed for an opportunity to speak with her.
During the weeks before the event, I reflected on how my rule-keeping separated me from loving others. I felt isolated from those I judged. My lack of love kept me from having a merciful heart toward those who needed grace. As a result, I wondered how many people I had hurt and how many opportunities I had missed to show grace.
God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.~Romans 2:4b NIV
Through failures as a pastor’s wife and missionary overseas, my superior attitude tumbled down. Regretfully, I had yelled at my husband, ignored opportunities to share my faith, and judged teammates for how they handled certain situations. In time, God showed me through my failures that I couldn’t mend my broken messes with good works. I had blown it many times and needed His forgiveness. I finally acknowledged I was a sinner just like others.
At the homecoming soccer game, my heart pounded as I spotted my friend, sitting on a bench. Sliding next to her, I tearfully confessed my judgmental attitude, shared how God had shown me my judgmental flaws, and asked for forgiveness.
My former classmate told me how she had been hurt and judged by Christians when all she needed was a friend. She forgave me, and God brought healing to our hearts. Afterward, a sweet spirit of love and connection refreshed our relationship. My heart felt as if a spiritual rain had poured over me.
COMPASSION BEYOND MY OWN ABILITIES
I’m grateful God doesn’t place a time limit on confession or forgiveness. Sometimes forgiveness takes time. Years may pass, but healing can take place at any time. Making a confession might take some humility, but the healing that follows is worth the uncomfortable moments of confession. Relying on Jesus’ work is the only way forgiveness can happen.
By His wounds we are healed.~Isaiah 53:5 NIV
Do you have a relationship that needs healing? How can you prepare your heart for confession?
Lord, You took my sin away by Your death. Thank You for cleansing me and making a way for healing in my relationships. Show me today whom I need to forgive. Amen.
Copyright 2022: Confessions from a Homecoming Queen: Lynne Head: All Rights Reserved