Archives For confession

The New Testament declares that “it was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore do not be entangled again in a yoke of slavery.” The insanely high cost of this freedom is the death of Jesus on the cross. And yet in my own life (I don’t presume to speak for you) I’ve again and again how I’ve chosen bondage over freedom.

How?

By turning to familiar comforts, by harboring unforgiveness, by trying to find life apart from God. And isn’t true that we will worship that from which we hope to derive life?

I’ve seen it time and time again in my own life. It’s crazy! It’s the kind of dissonance of which Paul wrote in Romans seven: “it is not I, but the sin within me.” The sin is within me because I am a spirit, possess a soul, and walk around in an unredeemed body.

We all do. Yet the beauty of the freedom for which Christ died is that we no longer have to heed the voice of the flesh (or of the evil one): we are free!

Yet that freedom comes with a sobering responsibility: we have to choose everyday–moment by moment, hour by hour–to walk in it. And believe you me: the world, the flesh, and the devil will do their utmost to keep us in a place of bondage.

Is the desire for revenge entirely natural? Yes–yes it is. But God says that vengeance is His.

Is it natural to withhold forgiveness when we’re hurt, or slighted? Again, yes. But God commands us to forgive.

Is it natural to lash out, use our words as weapons? Assuredly. But God says that the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Make no mistake: these are hard things. But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We must choose, despite what our senses tell us, to align ourselves with the values of an invisible kingdom.

And it begins by dying, by crucifying our pride at the foot of the cross everyday. By taking up that cross, and following Jesus, who thought equality with God was not something to be grasped. Instead, he humbled himself, and came as a servant.

And that is what we are: servants.

Bondslaves of grace.

Let grace compel you today to dig deeper, reach higher, and bow before the One Who sees and knows all. For there is nothing hidden from Him with Whom we have to do.

He knows the bitterness we hold inside, knows about the unforgiveness, knows in fact every prideful, lustful, vile thought. So instead of hiding in shame: tell Him.

He already knows anyway.

We have nothing to lose (except our pride), and absolutely everything to gain.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Speak on it: What are you laying down today?

Recently, I’ve been corresponding with a new reader of the blog. If things work out, he has quite a story to share. Chances are, due to the sensitive nature of his tale, it will be an anonymous confession.

That he reached out to me got me thinking: there’s a good chance that there are a great many folks out there carrying burdens they need to lay down.

That being the case, I thought I’d open the floor to you:

If you would like to send in a confession, drop me an email at by clicking here. We can work together to determine if you would like to remain anonymous, or not. In any case, I will keep anything sent to in the strictest confidence.

Because confession is indeed good for the soul, and we are encouraged to confess our faults one to another, my vison is that this would become a regular series.

If anything, let me know what you think in the comments.

Thanks,

Chad

I have a confession to make. Are you ready? Alright. Here goes nothing.

I don’t think Tim Hawkins is funny.

I know, I know. What’s wrong with me? Everyone around me seems to think he’s hilarious. In particular, my buddy Chad Jones is a big fan. It’s caused more than our fair share of (friendly) disputes.

I feel like his stuff is a little corny, and cliché.

But here’s the thing: Just because I don’t get Hawkins’ brand of humor, doesn’t mean I need to hate on other people who love it.

A couple of years ago, this is a point on which I’d not have been willing to be flexible. I’ve always been a bit of an entertainment snob. If I think a movie, TV show, band or, in this case, comedian, is not high quality, I want the world to know.

To an extent, this is a trait that I’ve almost been proud of. I held to my character. Stuck to my guns.

Honorable, no?

The problem with that kind of cavalier attitude is that I was (and have been) alienating people I really love. They didn’t want to be around me. In retrospect, I don’t blame them.

It all really culminated a few days ago. My wife and I were pulling into the church parking lot when I made a comment (in the car) about a woman whom I saw was getting out of her car. I’d seen her be ugly to one of the parking lot attendants the previous Sunday. At the time we were pulling in, I witnessed her acting in a fashion that I believed to be “uppity,” which matched what I witnessed of her the weekend before.

I was disgusted with her behavior. I was disgusted with her.

But I took things to the next level. I called her an ugly name. Now, we were still in the car. The woman didn’t hear me and will never know I said it. But I know. And my wife knows.

And she called me a jerk.

Ok, so she didn’t say it exactly like that. But, later in the day, she let me know how upset she was at what I’d said. In fact, she’d been feeling like talking to me for a while about my negativity.

She called me out. She had every right to. I needed to hear it. As a Christian, I really do need to make more of an effort to love people who grind my gears. I’ve always made excuses and said things like, “That’s just how I talk when I’m driving. I’m not really like that.”

Aren’t I?

Is it okay to be hateful anywhere? Am I really capable of keeping that vitriol from oozing into other aspects of my life?

The truth is: that has happened. I’ve noticed that my anger rears its ugly head at times where it has no business being. It’s embarrassing. It really is.

So, I’m committing to work on it. I’m trying to learn how to hold on to what makes me – me, while letting go of the ugliness. I can be a jerk, but I don’t have to be.

I don’t enjoy Tim Hawkins or his comedy…but…it’s totally cool if you do.

Has God ever spoken to you through a spouse or loved one about something you need to change?

Tim says, “Thanks, Kevin! I think.”

Folks, you can connect with Kevin on Twitter @KevinRHaggerty, and his blog is The Isle of Man. Please join me in congratulating Kevin, and his wife Kim, on the impending arrival of their son. Please also be on prayer for Kevin as he recently learned that his teaching contract will not be renewed next school year. He is trusting God to provide through his writing. Let’s join with Kevin on this, ok?

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I don’t like to be wrong.

I really don’t like it all. I could go all Dr. Seuss now, y’all, and say that I don’t like it here, don’t like there, don’t like it anywhere.

But this is not one of my humorous pieces.
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>Freedom Friday

randomlychad  —  October 29, 2010 — Leave a comment

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Freedom Friday

     Hi! Yesterday I mentioned that Jon Acuff has “Serious Wednesday,” and Bryan Allain “Cliche Thursday. And in that vein, I’d like to welcome you to Freedom Friday on my blog! What I intend this to be is provide a platform where we can take off our masks, get real together, share our struggles and triumphs. So my question to you is: what does freedom mean to you? Where do you go to find freedom? Where do you still need freedom in your life? Do you think about God when you think about freedom? Please let me know in the comments. Post anonymously—put in a fake email address, if you want—but please post. This is a safe place. Let’s pray together. Thanks, and blessings to you!