Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.~James 5:16 NIV
Even at that tender age I knew I had done something wrong and needed to find freedom at the cross.
I stole bubblegum from the grocery store when I was four. My brother had bought a candy bar. I wanted to get something, too, so I slipped a piece of bubblegum into my pocket. I later fell asleep and awoke to my mom asking me where I had gotten gum. Already deep in my deception, I said, “I’m not chewing gum.”
My statement was partially true because I was no longer chewing it. It had fallen out of my mouth and become stuck in my hair. But my sin had exposed me, and I’m grateful it did. I was relieved not to carry the weight of my secret sin anymore.
Children aren’t the only ones to make poor choices and strive to hide their sins. By attempting to cover our sins, we propagate a second sin: a lie. Pride prevents us from pulling back the curtain to show the inner workings of our hearts. So, we attempt to self-medicate to numb the shame in our souls.
The enemy wants us to think we are the only ones doing this, but the ground at the foot of the cross is remarkably level.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.~Romans 3:23 NIV
Yet, the Father has provided a solution:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.~1 John 1:9 NIV
The longer we hide our sins, the longer we remain sick and addicted and hasten a growing weight of guilt and shame. The enemy has us where he wants us—forever hiding our sins so we will never taste God’s forgiveness. God can heal and forgive us, but He has designed us to live in community. We are healed through prayer and confessing our sins to one another.
I spent the rest of the summer with a chunk of my long brown hair missing where my mom cut the gum out. It was a faithful reminder to make better choices. Momentary embarrassment led to a lifetime of better decisions.
If sin and the weight of your shame have you stuck, I encourage you to free yourself. Search out safe people with whom you can find accountability, wise counsel, and prayer for healing.
How can you make a better practice of making godly choices? Have you found freedom at the foot of the cross?
Father God, forgive me. I have fallen short of Your glory. Help me to boldly come out of hiding, confess my sins to You and another, and find healing and freedom at the foot of the cross. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2023: Freedom at the Cross: Julie Souza Bradley Lilly: All Rights Reserved