“A Hunger and an Openness”

“Confession is an art of relationship that has been lost in our era.”

See James 5:16.

What do you think Allender means by this? How important is confession to a relationship?

Continues Allender, “Confession is twofold: first, opening our heart to God, admitting we are far from home and need his grace, and then saying to the other what we have already said to God. The word “confession” comes from a Greek word that means `saying the same thing as’ –it is repeating what is obvious. I have stepped on your foot. Now I need to say, ‘I have stepped on your foot’ and ‘forgive me.’ Confession releases pent-up fear and self-hatred. It also exposes the hidden part of my self-righteousness that says, ‘I would not have stepped on your foot if you hadn’t gotten in my way.”

Do you see the difference? Do you know someone who doesn’t? Common within much of Christendom is the “you-must-forgive” refrain. Which is fine. But when it comes to restoring a relationship, forgiveness is only half of the equation. Forgiveness is a solo act; reconciliation is a duet.

“Confession acknowledges failure, but more important, it admits desire: ‘I have failed you, we are divided, and I long to be restored.’ Confession remembers a day of intimacy and sees the current division in light of what was once a relationship of shalom. In asking for restoration we outstretch our arms to receive the blessing that can come only from one who knows the playful anticipation of forgiven4ss as well as we do.

“Ultimately, availability is a hunger to be forgiven, and an openness to bless and forgive.”

Amen?

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