Recent increase in secret confession type stuff means something

Over the past year or two I have noticed a steady increase in websites and videos like…

postsecret.blogspot.com

and

(some strong language)

 

As one looks and listens through these various confessions, some are shocking revelations, some are quite funny, some are proud. Why do people feel that they need to get such things off their chests? As humans, why can’t we just keep things to ourselves? Why, when someone tells us a secret do we often find it impossible to keep it in? Why are we often plagued with guilt about things? Why do things we did years and years ago, which seem to mean nothing to us or anyone, all of a sudden flood back into our minds and bother us?

In the Bible, Psalm 32 sheds some light on this whole subject.

David writes that,

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.  For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.

David was obviously deeply troubled by guilt, as we all are. What an accurate description we have in the Psalm of the heaviness and pressure our own guilt puts on us.

The weight on Christians back in John Bunyans Pilgrims Progress is a great illustration of the pressure sin puts on us.

The weight on Christian's back in John Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress is a great illustration of the pressure sin puts on us.

But he goes on…

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD “—
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.

So how can we get this forgiveness? David continues…

Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you
while you may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise,
they will not reach him.  You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the LORD’s unfailing love
surrounds the man who trusts in him.

In a way, these websites and videos have the right idea. Confession and telling of secrets is what is needed, and it is clear that people will indeed get closure from telling their secrets. But I guarantee that the guilt will not go. We are creatures designed with consciences. Only God can take that burden from us, through Jesus. God is holy, we are not, no one is sinless.

But…

God became man; Jesus. He became a human and came to this earth, he was tempted and trialed, but did not sin! He was killed as an innocent human,

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

I was thinking, the most normal thing to do would be to pray to God, just to talk out loud to him or in our heads, and he will hear us. But God sees us as well as hears us. If we felt more comfortable, just to write a letter or a postcard, God will see. No one else has to see it, just you and God. Personally I find talking a lot easier but however you choose to ask God, don’t let this pass you by.

P.S. Notice that no where in the Bible does it say that we must confess to a Priest our sins. Jesus is the only mediator between God and man.

Here’s an interesting one:

9 thoughts on “Recent increase in secret confession type stuff means something

  1. I like this post. When I saw the secret about believeing in God on Post Secret, it really made me think that deep down we all know that He is there, whether we choose to listen to that or not.

    I also really believe that we are designed with consciences. However, what troubles me, is people with an antisocial personality disorder, commonly known as psychopaths. They feel no remorse or guilt from their actions which is why a lot of them do such terrible things, they really don’t know that what they’re doing is hurting someone else. If we’re designed to have consciences, how do people end up like that? I know so many Psychological theories, but on a more spiritual level I just don’t know.

    Large comment…I apologise. Thinking outloud. Your post made me think a lot about prayer too. However I think this comment is quite long enough.

  2. Interesting stuff on the psychopath issue.
    I believe that God is a fair judge, he would not punish someone for going against their conscience if they did not have one, God would go purely on as much as they know. Are you fully sure that they have no morals WHATSOEVER (sorry I wanted to use bold but lack of HTML)
    Anyway this is just off the top of my head and thats what I think right now. I’ll ask some peeps and check it out in The Word.
    On the designed to have consciences thing though, they are like that purely as a product of the fall. No one has been expressly designed to have a disability.
    I love long comments. They are so necessary.

  3. Hey man, well thought-out post! Was loving the appropriate passages of scripture and thought regarding this. Yeah, it’s clear that man has an inherent need to confess. We know that is supposed to be directed toward God, but I suppose those who haven’t acknowledged God still feel it, and thus turn to priests, mediums and friends. And in this case creepy Internet sites.
    The Bible does tell us to confess our faults to one another, and help each other in day-to-day life (if one is rejoicing, let all rejoice, if one is mourning, let all mourn), but confession of sin is ALWAYS (again with lack of html) directly God-ward.
    Cool stuff! Thanks for the comment. See you. x.

  4. I think I am inclined to agree with your opinion about God being a fair judge. But I worry a bit about the whole asking for forgiveness thing. How can you ask for forgiveness if you don’t know you’ve done anything wrong? But then if God’s a fair judge he’ll take that into account I suppose. I’ve just gone in a circle there.

    About Psychopaths though…I’m pretty sure htey have no morals. One case that comes to mind is a man, who murdered two women…at his trial he was sentenced to life in prison I think it was…the families of the girls were there and they were crying, presumably because they had got justice for their daughters. Anyways, the man turned to his Psychologist and was genuninely quite confused as to why they were crying, seeing as he was the one who was going to prison. He couldn’t see that his actions had really hurt those families.

    Psychopaths generally know enough about other people feeling empathy and different emotions in order to manipulate them to get what they want, but personally they don’t feel things like guilt or empathy, which is why they behave in such awful ways sometimes.

    This is waaaay off your topic of confessions……oops.

  5. “On the designed to have consciences thing though, they are like that purely as a product of the fall. No one has been expressly designed to have a disability.”

    Could you explain this to me?

  6. “On the designed to have consciences thing though, they are like that purely as a product of the fall. No one has been expressly designed to have a disability.”

    I believe that humans were all designed to have consciences, meaning that every human should have the ability to tell right from wrong. We were all created perfect with no faults, I was saying that these so called psychopaths and people with other disabilities are not a product of God’s perfect design, they and other things that go wrong for everyone (anything negative on this earth) are due to sin.

    Maybe I should rephrase that. It is wholly and completely God’s will for someone to have a disability, God gives troubles and trials for a reason. However bad things are on the earth because sin came into the earth.

    Dunno if I’ve gone into it enough. I need to look into it more, as with most of my knowledge.

    Hmmm.

  7. I think I have a vague understanding of what you mean by the “fall” (when sin entered the world, our ancestors leaving the garden, right?). But the idea is that things were pretty perfect before then, and all strife and pain in the world exists due to sin (proliferated by Satan? Humanity as a result of free will? why?) confuses me.

    If one can be born with disabilities, inherent illnesses or whatever, then clearly the “sin” referred to isn’t just a culmination of sinful acts committed by the individual himself, it’s more of a native force in the world? What is “sin”, in that case?

    Is it God’s will to have someone so crippled by illness that they cannot live any sort of life? Say a child that is born with a fatal condition, giving it perhaps a few hours of life. I can understand that this would certainly be a test of the parents and those involved, but surely the “troubles and trials” are largely meaningless as far as the infant himself is concerned, due to him barely being self-aware while he suffers.

    I have more questions, but I need to sleep. I know you like questions so I’ll keep asking them.

  8. The “fall” is what we call it when Adam & Eve sinned. I do believe things were perfect before then (‘and God saw that it was good’). All strife and pain in the world exists due to sin – correct; Genesis 3:16-18
    ‘To the woman he said,
    “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
    with pain you will give birth to children.
    Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”

    To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’
    “Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat of it
    all the days of your life.

    It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.

    By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
    until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
    for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

    I believe that disabilities and all other trials are included in this ‘curse’
    Satan tempted them, but it was them who sinned.
    I can my best to explain the whole free will thing.

    If God is good and perfect why did/does he allow us to sin?
    Ultimately everything God does and decides is for his own glory. I believe that God is in control of absolutely everything, he does allow sin. He is not responsible, but does allow it.
    God could have made us into robots who did not have the ability to sin, but that would bring him less glory as we would have no free will. So he gave us this ability to make choices. We had the ability to sin, and to not sin. We chose to sin.
    It’s a minefield though.
    It melts my brain.
    Because I do believe in heaven there will be no sin. It will be perfect. But I guess that it brings God more glory if he has created this way of salvation for us.

    Back to the whole disabilities thing. I fear I shall make a Glen Hoddle style foot in mouth comment, so I’m treading carefully.
    John 9:
    As he [Jesus] went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

    “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

    Clearly God has different reasons for giving disabilities. I still hold by my comment that ultimately all bad things in the world; pain, natural disasters, disabilities etc. are due to sin. But just because someone is born disabled does not mean we can conclude anything from it such as, he is a sinner, his parents sinned – sin caused this. There are many different reasons for disabilities. Ultimately if they do not even have the ability to comprehend salvation, God a fair judge who is abounding in love would not hold them responsible for such a thing. A baby who only lived a few hours is still better than not living at all and I am sure (need to find references) that that human soul would go to heaven.

    What is “sin”?
    That’s a bit of a big one.

    Sin, as defined in the original translations of the Bible, means “to miss the mark.” The mark, in this case, is the standard of perfection established by God and evidenced by Jesus. Viewed in that light, it is clear that we are all sinners.

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