Is Forgiveness Real, or Not?

I really blew it with my kids yesterday.  Blame it on a toxic cocktail of hormones,  fear and the need to control.  Or.  Let’s just get real.  It was my loss of self control. 

Either way, when my emotional tornado passed, all of us looked and felt like one of those house-splintered aftermath scenes. They were hurt.  I was hurt. And I was pretty sure the Lord was sad too.  There was  a lot of debris to clean up.

As I made dinner, the scene replayed in my mind: my words, their faces.  My choices, their hurt. Over and over it played. My heart was breaking. I love my girls so much. And yet…I still said those horrible things.

“What do I do now??” I asked the Lord in a near panic.

Of course— I would ask my girls  for forgiveness.  But how do I be different next time? I was in a state of shock and disbelief.

Had He taught me so much only for me to lose it in a moment? Did His love not really matter when I needed it most? Was I ever going to learn how to deal with my emotions in a healthy way in the heat of the moment? Continue reading

Power of Confession

I have been having some interesting conversations about confession. In fact, I had this dream about a dear friend of mine who is running hard after freedom. We had had dinner together and she was saying, “I just don’t know what to do next?” That night I dreamed she was sitting in the middle of this swirling wind and a voice kept repeating, “Confess that you may be healed.”

When she began confessing all the hidden places, lies, hurts, people, beliefs, the whirlwind got stronger and stronger around her and began changing colors. She was laughing and crying and confessing.

Did that just weird you out as much as it did me?

But then there is another friend who is trying get free from tragic happenings in her past. Again, “confess” was the word that came to mind for her.

Cliff notes on confession:

Remember that confession is agreeing with God.

It is owning and calling sin by name: people, actions, feelings, etc.

It is being willing to think about sin the way God does.

People think that confession produces condemnation but actually the opposite is true. When we call things what they are, we walk in the light of Truth. Nothing hidden or disguised. No lies. God already knows the truth, He desires that we KNOW the truth that we might be set free.

This can very hard to do with such an enemy on our heels. There is this Fantastic book that addresses head on the enemy’s tactics but it has a Scandalous title. All the church ladies prepare to gasp in offense…(Wait, are there really church ladies reading this blog? Right. So forward ho.)

The book is called “Emotional Bullshit.” There I said it. And I wish I had written it because it captures some really great insight into Denial, Delusion and Blame. The author even calls those three combined tactics the Toxic Trio.

Here is how it works. I am confronted by my own need to take responsibility for an action or belief. I don’t want to confront or own that responsibility so I deny it. Then I create some story that supports my denial, then I blame someone else for what is happening to me.

Let’s use food as an example. (Did I just hear a collective groan?) I am not taking care of my physical body. I am stiff and don’t like the way I look, and I need to lose weight for my health. These are the facts. This is where I need to take 100% responsibility to change my lifestyle so that those three things might change. Exercise and a better diet will decrease the stiffness, change the way I look, and improve my health. I have the power over all of those choices.

BUT: if I refuse to exert my power over those choices, I have to create some story as to WHY I can’t change. So I exaggerate, or fabricate, or procrastinate the circumstances to make up a B.S. story about why I am stuck. And almost ALWAYS my B.S. story will have someone ELSE being the reason or problem, the culprit, the cause of why I can’t change. See if my health is dependent on someone or something else, then I am not responsible for me. Voila’! Emotional Bullshit at its finest.

This is why confession is the key to all things. Confession is a completely counter-flesh concept. Only the Spirit of God leads the spirit to come to the the throne of a merciful God. It is the Spirit who convicts of sin. Not accusation, that is demonic. Not condemnation, that is only part of the enemy’s tactics.

But confession comes from God and returns to God. When you confess with your mouth those things that you are afraid of saying to God, you will be healed. It is His promise to us.

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs: 28:13

So in every day life, not just the stronghold issues we face, but moment by moment, we ask the Lord to sweep our hearts. When He puts His loving finger on that heart attitude or action, word or deed, then we don’t resort to Emotional B.S. but we learn to confess.

“Yes Lord, thank You for showing me that. I see You are making me whole hearted.”

Just watch yourself today. It can be a fun exercise to see how much you shift and squirm to get away from being responsible for your own life…