My son, who is in middle school, received his first homework detention this week (two on the same day actually, ugh). I knew something was up as soon as I saw him after school as he could hardly look me in the eye. I had an idea of what had happened since we struggled with homework the night before, but I could tell he was very nervous to tell me. It was obvious he had thought about it all day and had built it up in his head as a huge thing. Fear was taking over – it was telling him he was a bad kid, he can’t do anything right, and he’ll never succeed at school. With tears in his eyes he shared the consequence he received at school for not having his homework completed. We talked it over and while there was also a consequence given at home, telling me wasn’t near as bad as what he had imagined in his head. He was relieved.
Isn’t that how it always goes? It’s that way for me. When God reveals sin in my life that I need to confront and when He makes it clear that a certain sin needs to be confessed to someone, fear grabs hold. It tells me that I’m a failure, that I’m not a good wife or mom, and that I’ll never get it right. I get anxious and I stress about it much longer than I should. But time and time again, when I confess my sins and shortcomings to someone, I don’t receive judgment and harsh punishment. There are consequences to my actions of course, but the reaction I have built up in my head is always worse than reality. I always feel lighter once it is shared.
You see, Satan loves for us to keep things in the dark. He wants us to live in fear. He wants us to have anxiety about our sin. He hates when we speak truth and when we allow God’s light to shine in. Thankfully, our God is full of mercy and grace. He longs for us to be clean. He is always rooting for us and He wants us to succeed. Which, not surprisingly, is exactly how I feel about my son.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.