The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalm 51
I dreaded stepping into a confessional on Saturdays. To be honest, I would spend a lot of time thinking about how I could phrase my sin so that it didn’t sound that bad. I would select one or two that seemed pretty common that would, hopefully, give me the lesser sentence. Everyone cusses! Yeah. I’ll tell him I said the Lord’s name in vain twice, that’ll do it! Always ending with the general, one stop shop confession that would hopefully cover those unspoken…”Bless me Father for I have sinned… forgive me of any sin I haven’t said or can’t remember.” Hoping all the while that the penance wasn’t too great. Give me something simple like three Hail Mary’s and two Our Fathers. There were many times my punishment included ten of each.
I no longer step into a confessional, but I still seek forgiveness from my Father. The difference now is that I simply go directly Him… Father, forgive me for I have sinned. I connect one on one with the One who already knows what I’ve done and loves me anyway. It still isn’t easy, but I can now recognize the freedom from bondage that confession and repentance bring. I used to think that I was surely going to hell for the things I said and did and confession had become pointless. But if confession and repentance are pointless, then so is the cross.
Jesus didn’t come for the ritual of repentance. He came for the redemption of it. He came as our advocate, our intercessor, our vindicator, our rescuer, our redeemer. Once our words of repentance from sin leaves our lips, it is done! The gavel comes down and we are exonerated. Our sin, forgiven and forgotten.
We have been given the opportunity to boldly step up to the throne of grace and pour out our hearts of regret. When we do, when we come…Father, forgive me, for I have sinned…Jesus pours out forgiveness and love, washing over us, cleansing us, freeing us. Confession is good. Repentance is required and The Cross… The point of The Cross…well, it was for you. There is nothing you could do or have ever done that moves you so far away from God that He won’t immediately meet you when you call on Him. There is nothing that you could ever do that would cause Him to love you any less. There is nothing. Confession is good for the soul. Believe me, I know. God loves you and wants to meet with you today. Won’t you let go of it and let God love you? He’s waiting…