I stood in the kitchen; the same place as many times before, by the dining room table, next to the red chair. I experienced the same emotions as before; shame, guilt, frustration because I had to ask the same question I’ve asked so many times before. More times than I care to admit.
I mumble to my husband, “Will you forgive me?” Will you forgive me for being short with you, mean to you and using silence to hurt you?” Ek. It hurts just to type that, but, it is a reality.
I know I don’t deserve his forgiveness. I know he’d rather not have to forgive me for the same thing time and time again. I wish I could completely destroy my negative responses and defense mechanisms. But, here we are, once again. Same spot, same conversation, same situation, same emotions.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar spot. A bad habit you haven’t kicked yet, an addiction that never completely disappears, a sin that always festers you. In our sin, the temptation is to hide, keep it in the dark, not ask for forgiveness. That feels safer, right? More comfortable, less risk. Friends, I urge you to resist this temptation. God tells us in Ephesians 5:13 that what is brought out of the darkness and into the light can become a light. You can be a light for others!
I recently was in a professional environment and I knew as soon as I left the meeting I was not completely honest with my supervisor. Why wasn’t I completely honest you ask? Fear of appearing inferior, inadequate. So I left with guilt and knew I needed forgiveness. I prayed to God and it was on my heart to fill my supervisor in as well. NO, I did NOT want to do that. So, I made a deal with God that if he reminded me next time I saw her, that I would say something to her about it. (ps. every good story starts w/ “I made a deal with God…”)
But, of course, I read a devotional the next day that talked about taking care of things THAT DAY, that moment, not putting them off, not delaying. So, I didn’t think twice, well maybe for a moment or two, whipped out my cell and shot her an email, apologizing for not saying the whole truth.
You know why? The little things matter, a lot. I could have easily kept that hidden, in the dark. But I am so glad I brought it to the light, feels freer. Her email response was kind and the exchange brought us closer. When you sin, instead of allowing it to create shame, use it to create intimacy with others, with God. Create a deeper connection, through the act of confession. I think that is one of the biggest indicators of a healthy relationship, the ability to admit you were wrong, apologize and ask for forgiveness. Do that in your marriage, friendships and work environment. Don’t let things slide. If you have a nudge right now about a particular situation, do not delay. Bring it to the light and become a light!