Being Blessed – Or How I Learned to LOVE Confession!

Confession_1

He sat in the chair opposite me, and his discomfort level was off the charts. Eyes, darting around, feet fidgeting, obviously rather being someplace else, this life-long Orthodox Christian was making his very first confession. He was 64 years old.

He had heard me preach a homily on the value of confession, and had courageously taken the step to put into purposeful practice what he had heard. Frankly, at this moment, he was my hero! And I told him so. His main concern was that, somehow I would think “less” of him once I heard his confession, or that somehow his “secrets” would get told around the community. To be frank, he’d heard stories of such horrors and was nervous. All I could do was assure him as best I could, being a flawed and sinful person myself, that the purpose of confession wasn’t scorekeeping but healing. He relaxed and we went on to have a mutually edifying session of mutual tears and peace.

The fact is the mystery of confession isn’t optional because it is precisely the normal Orthodox path to spiritual maturity.

But how do you prepare to make a good confession? This is a wonderful question and one I have contemplated for a while. I have come to the conclusion that the best way to prepare for a good confession is to study intensely a healthy spiritual life! Just as I was trained to spot a counterfeit currency when I was a police officer (we never looked at a counterfeit bill. We did meticulously study the authentic currency), so we are best able to detect weaknesses in our Christian life by knowing the authentic and healthy spiritual life of a healthy soul.

And the best way to do this is through today’s Gospel Lesson!

Look at Luke 6:17-23. The Lord is preaching to the people what will become known as the Beatitudes.

And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.” Luke 6:20-23

“Blessed are….” With these words, our Lord Jesus gives us an in-depth look into a healthy soul! Look at what He says! Those who have their priorities right about possessions, about good desires, about the temporariness of grief, about freedom from the tyranny of the opinions of others, and ultimately, about one who sees beyond the shallow moments of life to the eternal reality of the Kingdom of God, and the faith that the greatest tragedy to befall one isn’t any of the time-bound disappointments and struggles of this life, but the eternal tragedy of missing putting our eternal destiny at the top of our priority list!

Today, do you regularly make the strong and wise choice to look into the mirror of honest reflection of your soul? If you’re wondering how to prepare for confession, look no further than the polished and perfect mirror of the Beatitudes to peer deeply into the illnesses of your spiritual life, and then go to the “hospital” for souls – the Church! By regularly taking the sweet medicine of repentance, you will watch as your spiritual self becomes as healthy (even more healthy) than your physical self. And that freedom is precisely the purpose for the mystery of confession. Such spiritual treasures are within your reach if only you will.

P.S. Well, it’s obvious we are going to have to do a follow up program about the Second Coming of Jesus. The questions and comments have poured in so the first program in December on Faith Encouraged LIVE will do just that! In the meantime, go ahead and get the little booklet “Rejecting Rapturemania” at http://preachersinstitute.com/pi-store/ and get ready for all the questions from your friends with the release today of tghe new movie about the Rapture!

Rejecting Rapturemania

One comment:

  1. I was christmated at the end of last year and made my first confession during Lent of this year. Although I didn’t get into all the gory details I made it clear enough what I had done and what was weighing on my soul. All in all a very liberating experience.

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