I stood on the kitchen chair to reach the top of the hutch only to find more than dust. The hidden section was littered with crumpled-up gum wrappers, and I knew exactly how they got there. No doubt my daughter thought she found a way to get past the gum-chewing police. She had braces and knew she wasn’t supposed to chew gum, but thought she could be a sneaky Pete.
I wanted to march up to her bedroom and demand a confession, but instead, I opted for a more subtle approach of stashing all the wrappers in the middle of her planner. I could hardly wait for the next morning to see her reaction. Would she confess? Would she make excuses and place blame elsewhere? As the evening pressed on, however, I couldn’t shake the anger and hurt over her behavior. Was it my fault? Did I cause her to be sneaky? Was this the first time? Would it be the last?
Maybe you’ve been lied to by a child, spouse, parent, or friend, over something much graver than sneaking chewing gum. I certainly have, which makes this example seem so trite. But it is a good illustration of how our reaction to lying, or any sin committed against us, reveals so much more about our humanity compared to God’s sovereign grace. Psalm 66:19-20 portrays a response from God that we would not be quick to reject, should we be the one entrenched in sin and ready to come clean: “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.”
God listens. He pays attention to our confession. He does not ignore us. He does not withdraw His unfailing love from us.
While it would have been ideal for my daughter to confess her sneakiness before being found out, her response upon finding the wrappers tucked in her planner revealed her repentant heart. However, her remorse didn’t make my anger go away or instantly rebuild our relationship. It took time to trust her, and others, since old wounds were triggered with this blindsiding. Maybe you can relate? However, since that incident more than a decade ago, I’ve learned a powerful lesson about sin:
We have a part to play in the process of confession that matters much in God’s kingdom work.
Yes, we have a choice when it comes to how we will react to another’s sin in the same way God has a choice in how He’ll respond to ours. He chose unfailing love, evidenced by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. His love is what leads us into confession, repentance, and transformation. Will we, too, be vessels of His unfailing love, welcoming the kind of honest confessions that can lead to authentic life transformation?
Dear Lord, thank You for Your unfailing love that we can trust at all times. Please help us when we have been sinned against, no matter how seemingly trite the offense may be, to receive Your power at work within to heal us and enable us to respond with Your lovingkindness. Help us to know what that looks like as we consider what You have done in response to our sin through Jesus’ work on the cross.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How might God be prompting you to respond to the one who has lied to you? How might you practice becoming the type of woman that is safe for an honest confession and supportive in the pursuit of wholehearted transformation?
Join me at Girlfriends in God to share your thoughts.