Today’s Readings: Psalm 116; Nehemiah 1:1-11; Matthew 13:18-23; Revelation 5:11-6:11
In the days following the Enlightenment, the notion of confession began to fall out of favor. That’s because folks wanted to celebrate all of the wonderful things human being were capable.
I can certainly understand the desire to do that - for I believe that human beings ARE wonderful creations who are capable of amazing things like love, compassion, and understanding.
In the midst of those celebrations, however, I believe it’s important to remember those other aspects of ourselves that are not quite so wonderful: things like our pettiness, our greed, and our propensity for violence. It is only by recognizing (dare I say, confessing) these things that we can achieve a fuller understanding of ourselves.
Nehemiah knew the importance of confessing his shortcomings. That’s why in today’s passage from the Hebrew Scripture Nehemiah said: “… I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those who have sinned against you” (Nehemiah 1:6 from The Message).
So how comfortable are you with the notion of confession. Are you comfortable doing what Nehemiah did and own up to your shortcomings, or would you rather skip over those shortcomings and exclusively focus your attention on your good traits? Til next time…