The Fear of Coming Clean
There is fear in coming clean.
I fear what others will think of me when I say:
I’ve neglected prayer for weeks. When I’ve chosen to pray, I’ve only sought God for what he can give and not God Himself.
I’ve yelled at my kids so loud they’ve cried.
I spent months last year being angry, then sad over being a new pastor’s wife because of expectations I made up in my mind.
I said something so mean about someone that I spent the rest of the day embarrassed, beating myself up over my gossip.
We fear being honest about who we are because we don’t want to be rejected, unloved, cast-out. Many of us have been faced with that treatment before, and we’re not willing to take a chance again. We fear being honest because we think we’re alone. We see ourselves as the only ones with the struggle we’re facing, as if everyone else has it together. We fear being honest because we believe our sin is detestable. What we’ve done is worse than others, and it needs to be kept secret.
The Lord has a word for our fear.
Do not be afraid. There is no love greater than the Father’s love, and there are people willing to care for you in your sin and hurt. There is no greater lie than the lie that God does not love you and that you will be rejected by his people. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)
Do not be afraid. You are not alone. If I believe I am the only one being greedy, angry, sad, embarrassed and mean, I’m believing a lie, and you are too. Being isolated in our sin is dangerous, but shedding light on our sin brings truth and future comfort for others.
Do not be afraid. There is no sin too big for grace. “For as by the one man’s [Adam] disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s [Christ] obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:19-21)
This may be an old lesson for you. It is for me. Let’s not fool ourselves. Some of us have learned the art of confessing well, so that we are able to still hide the sin we choose. We must continually be breaking through fear to reach true honesty.
Why come clean? Because we can. We have nothing to hide under the righteousness and perfection of Christ. We are free to be honest about who we are, and we need not be afraid.
What do you need to come clean about today?