Do I Have to Tell?
I don't know where I'd be without my friend, Dree. Every Tuesday morning Dree and I text each other about areas of sin that we are struggling with. It's not that I particularly like owning up to my failures or sharing thoughts or actions that are unholy; I just know that I'm not likely to find freedom in these areas if I don't tell someone about it.
Aly knows this to be true. Aly was caught in a holding pattern with several sins including lying, disobedience, and sexual sin. Eventually, Aly fessed up to her parents. Embarrassing? Yep. Uncomfortable? You better believe it, but Aly wouldn't have found freedom without taking that brave step.
Hear it straight from the horse's mouth:
Tell someone. There really is freedom in confessing your sins to believers, and you'd be surprised how loving and accepting people are when they realize how deeply you're hurting and how lost you are. If you continue in your sin, the pleasure you feel will get less and less, and you'll need more and more, and you'll only get more and more lost. I could have very easily destroyed my life through drugs, alcohol, and lost innocence. But God loves me enough that He stepped in and saved me. He wants to save you, too, and He wants you to come back to Him. It's hard work, but the rewards are more glorious then anything this world has to offer.
You may have fear about confessing your sin to others. You are afraid you will be judged. You are afraid you will be gossiped about. You are afraid you will upset your parents or pastor.
Those are legitimate concerns, but I have to wonder, do they justify continuing in sin? Is the possibility of gossip or strong emotions really a good enough deterrent to remain in bondage?
James 5:16 gives believers this charge, "Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed."
What is the end result God promises when we confess our sin to other believers? Healing. If you're stuck in sin, healing will feel like a balm to your soul. It is the antidote to the pain, loneliness, isolation, and doubt that always accompanies sin.
Nancy and Dannah write about it this way in Lies Young Women Believe:
We believe that it is impossible to overcome sin in your life without the involvement of other believers in the body.... There can be enormous value in confessing your sin to an older, wiser person in your local church. Confiding in someone about your sin can be an important step in the process of your breaking free from that sin. It will bring you the accountability and prayer power that you need to continue walking in victory.... You can be free, but you'll most likely need to go through the difficult process of opening your heart to someone you know and respect.
No one is saying it will be easy. Untangling our lives from the web of sin never is, but God's promise is that confession will lead to healing. It's not that the person you confess to has the power to forgive you or heal your hurting heart. But bringing your sins out of the darkness and into the light is the best way to loosen their grip on your life. Plus doing so gives you accountability and prayer from others, two tools every girl needs to battle sin in her life.
So, start telling. If the first person you tell doesn't offer prayer and accountability, move on until you find someone who does. Then make regular confession of sin a part of your spiritual walk. Doing so has made a huge difference in my life. It made a difference in Aly's life, and it can make a difference for you if you'll take the brave first step.