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Can I Tell You What I Did, Sorry

Can I Tell You What I Did, Sorry.
So now that I no longer live by myself, I've been thinking a little about the art of confession!
Eh....Bethany, I need to tell you that I, eh, I .... ate all the chocolate!Eh ...love, I need to tell you that I, eh, I .... forgot to go and get the kids!Eh ... love, I need to tell you that I, eh, I .... .... forgot it folks that's a confession I will only make to Bethany.
Let's take a slight squirrel this week, stay with me.
When I was a full-time Senior Pastor there were a couple of phrases I found very helpful in leading church staff.The first one, and most regularly used one was this: "help me understand".
Ever had that awkward moment when someone does something not very good or rather weird, strange and you need to talk to them about it. This phrase was very helpful in confronting without confrontation.it’s a modern take on Jesus' compulsion to speak the truth in love.
The second phrase I had was the phrase "this is a last 10% conversation."
Most of us know that we really only ever say 80-90% of the truth to someone.We normally hold back from saying the full truth.The last 10% is the most difficult to say.Yet that final 10% is so crucial - especially in a staff or team situation.So, we would frequently say to each other 'we need to have a last 10% conversation."
I'm reminded of those two staff mantras as I do my current thinking on confession.
Confession is leaving the church and the Christians vocabulary.This is not good news.
It's like people who fill out church prayer cards with "anonymous comments"Or people who leave comments on blogs or church enews' signed "anonymous".
For centuries the Catholic Church held confession as a central Christian act. While the role of the priest in giving absolution goes beyond the bounds of Scripture, the practice of confession is inherently Biblical.Yet today over a third, veering towards a half of Catholics, no longer consider confession necessary, with as many as a fifth seeing it as an obstacle to their dialogue with God.Much of this downturn is fueled by the sexual abuse scandal megaphoning that for Catholic Church leaders it was confess-to-me-your-sin-while-I-do-my-heinous-sin! Hypocrisy at its worst.
There is an understanding as to why confession is leaving the Catholic Church; yet for Protestantism we have never really embraced confession.Sad, when the Apostles all did.
With confession comes humility.With confession comes transparency. With confession comes grace.With confession comes hope.With confession comes salvation.
If we confess our sins, would we need to act anonymously?If we confessed our sins, would we need anyone to tell us the last 10%?If we confessed our sins, would we need anyone to ask us "help me understand."
So, just a short reminder as we prepare for a new Senior Pastor.What a gift it might be to him if we were a congregation that kept short accounts, regularly confessed our sins and spoke truth in love.
Confession is good for the soul and for the health of our church.
And, I'm writing this at a trampoline park in Clovis as my three step-kids play. Eh, sorry love, I’m working while I'm meant to be playing with them! Sorry.
Gilbert

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