Episode 223: Hope for the Journey – Confession

March 29, 2022

Confession is good for the soul.

Explore the practice of confession from two different perspectives as you continue your Lenten journey. 

As leaders, there will be moments you mess up. The question is, will you own up to the mess up or seek to cover it up? Your character, specifically your Christian character, is being exposed at this moment. There are moments as humans, we all fall short or miss the mark.

“If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9

Consider how honesty and transparency might shape your leadership in these moments. 

The Psalmist also reminds us  “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven . . . When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long . . . Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:1–5). This scripture helps us consider why we practice confession and how we do so. 

Confession of Faith

You already know confession is not just about seeking forgiveness for wrongdoings. There is another meaning to confession. That is a confession of faith. One of the earliest confessions of faith was “Jesus is Lord.” 

Consider this familiar passage from Philippians 2:

Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus: Though he was in the form of God, he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit. But he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings.”

When he found himself in the form of a human, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore, God highly honored him and gave him a name above all names, so that at the name of Jesus everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Confession, therefore, is also about trusting and obeying Jesus. This week as you consider hope for the journey, perhaps this episode will guide you in practicing confession when you miss the mark and trusting Jesus for the journey.

Mentioned in this Episode

Episode 223- Hope for the Journey - Confession


[00:00:00] Sara: You're listening to Leadercast to episode 223.

[00:00:04] you're listening to leader cast, transforming missions podcast with Tim Bias and Sara Thomas. Providing you with resources to navigate the challenges and opportunities of courageous christ centered leaders

[00:00:20] Tim: Confession is good for the soul today. As we continue to explore the themes of lent, we will focus upon the practice of confession. From two different perspectives. Now, both perspectives are necessary to be a healthy hope field leader, and both provide hope for the journey.

[00:00:46] Sara: So as a reminder, you can find show notes for this episode at transforming mission. Dot org slash 223 on the show notes page. We'll include any references that we make to scripture and the bigger themes of our topic today. So that might include, oh, confess.

[00:01:06] Tim: Sara, the phrase confession confession's good for the soul is a proverb that advises people to come clean regarding anything that they were guilty of in order to feel better about themselves. In other words, confession clears the space for forgiveness, healing, peace of mind, even wholeness.

[00:01:26] Sara: And confession also reveals your authenticity and credibility as a leader. One characteristic of a hope field leader is revealed in what you do when you fail. Every leader falls short of expectations and goals, every leader fails. Should I say that again? every leader fails how you respond to a fail reveals your character and what kind of leader you really are.

[00:01:56] Are you one who leads people to truth and hope through authenticity and trust or one who leads people into deception through cover up and blame and I'll add shame.

[00:02:07] Tim: And as a leader, your missteps, whether private or corporate. Are a bit more public than those of the average person. When you mess up, you can shift the blame. You can pretend it never happened, or you can offer a confession. The assumption is, and I think it's a false assumption. It's my bias opinion.

[00:02:29] Anyway, that you will lose respect. If you're on honest about your failures, I've found that that's not true. It's after years of all, the years of my ministry. I've seen respect grow for my leadership when I confronted and confessed my missteps. So one of the scripture texts that I keep in mind and it's been with me throughout my whole ministry.

[00:02:55] I learned it sitting in the church in which I grew up because it was part of the communion liturgy. And it's one that stays with me. If we confess our sins, he's faithful. And just to forgive us, our sins and cleanse us from all in righteousness. One of the most powerful forms of leadership is being honest and transparent about shortcomings and weaknesses. So when you make, add decision own it, confess it and hear clearly God still loves you. And God's still gonna use you to make that difference you were created to make.

[00:03:39] Sara: If you didn't hear what Tim just said, hit the back button 10 seconds and listen to it again because you're onto something there leaders do not have to be perfect leaders. Don't have to have it all together. Leaders do not have to prove they deserve to lead by acting like they're perfect, but leaders must come to grips with this.

[00:04:02] When you mess up, people see mistakes. When you make a mistake or make a bad decision, it will become the news of the people that you serve. You can either ignore your failures and them away, or you can own your failures in shortcomings and model authenticity and honesty. You can gain trust and respect when you're vulnerable.

[00:04:25] Tim: Yeah, I'm reminded of David's words in, in Psalm 32. He's credited by writing. Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my inequity. I said, I will confess my transgress to God.

[00:04:53] And you forgave the guilt of my sin. What I've learned is confession is a doorway to freedom and forgiveness. Your confession doesn't need to be before all the world. It can be done privately in the presence of God. Now there are other discussions we may need to have, but I'm just saying, if you could just take the moment to confess to God. Now I, you might ask why is a verbal confession required at all? Why can't I just think my confession, why do I have to verbalize it after all? God knows my thoughts. So what's going on here?

[00:05:35] Sara: The answer is you don't confess your sins so God can hear them. You confess your sins so that you can hear them. Speaking is more powerful than thinking come up about how many times you've thought about doing something and then you get to the next room.

[00:05:51] Maybe I'm showing my age and you say, wait, what was it that I was going to do? But think about the to-do list that you have or what you've been in conversation with others. You remember those things because you've said them you've written them down. God didn't think the world into existence. God spoke the world into existence.

[00:06:13] So too, your words have power. When you confess your sins, you break down barriers that block your soul. You let go of toxins that poison your spirit. And most importantly, you engage God in your cleansing process and it's only God who truly purify your soul.

[00:06:31] Tim: So the next time you mess up, as we all do resist the temptation to cover up and ignore it. Just remember what David. Said, sweeping away. Your sins only makes matters worse instead. Pour out your heart before God, as you confess your sins, God heals your soul. So with that in mind, confession is good for the soul.

[00:06:56] Sara: So Tim, we've talked about one form of confession, but there's another form of confession and that's the confession of faith. This is a statement of faith or a shared belief of a community. One of the earliest known confessions of the Christian faith is Jesus's Lord. It's coming to the point where you acknowledge that something is true.

[00:07:17] Tim: So to confess Jesus Christ as Lord is to acknowledge that you are a Jesus follower And you're living your life according to the teachings or directions of Jesus. Sara, I'm gonna do another favorite. Scripture here comes from Philippians. Paul wrote adopt the attitude that was in Christ. Jesus.

[00:07:37] Though he was in the form of God. He did not consider being equal with God, something to exploit, but he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and becoming like human beings. And when he found himself in the form of a human, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of even death on the cross. Therefore God highly honored him and gave him a name above all names. So that at the name of Jesus, everyone in heaven on earth and under the word earth might bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ Lord to the glory of God, the father.

[00:08:24] Sara: And the acknowledgement can come in two ways. One is by speaking a creed like the early creed, you just read from Philippians two or the apostles creed, or the nice and creed, you're verbally acknowledging with others that you trust and obey Jesus.

[00:08:41] Tim: And those are great, but there is another acknowledgement it's by living a life that exemplifies the love of God experienced in Jesus. So you confess God's love in your life, by the way, you love others, even strangers, even enemies, you are making a confession and understand now why so many people put more emphasis upon confessing sins and wrongdoing?

[00:09:08] Because from my perspective, it's easier to be negative than positive. It's easier to be private with a confession to God than to live publicly. The love of God. I just made a confession, Sara.

[00:09:25] Sara: I was gonna say, Ooh, Tim bias is now meddling , but just imagine in all seriousness. How powerful your leadership could be. If you had a healthy balance of those two perspectives,

[00:09:40] Tim: So here again. Who you are, is how you lead.

[00:09:45] Sara: a hopeful leader knows through confession when to clear a space before God, by acknowledging shortcomings and mess up as well as when to acknowledge faith in Jesus and to live out God's love and transforming ways. Both are confessions and both are necessary for courageous and effective leadership.

[00:10:04] Tim: So Sara, when we look at confession, either from a perspective of confessing our sins and failures, Or from the perspective of confessing our faith in Jesus, we can say with confidence, confession is good for your soul, you are, is how you lead. May God give you the humility and courage to be faithful in your confession.

[00:10:32] Sara: So you might have, you might have just given us a blessing, Tim bias, but what are your final words as we think about and reflect on confession and being hope-filled leaders,

[00:10:44] Tim: Sara I'm glad you didn't ask. If I had anything to confess today.

[00:10:49] Sara: I could say, Tim, do you need me to offer a time and confession now?

[00:10:57] Tim: Sara, you always give me an opportunity at the end of, of each podcast. And the only thing I can say is, is that growing up in, in the church, I've been a part of the church. All of my life. There was a time that I thought especially with holy communion and then when the pastor would put. A prayer in the, in the worship folder of all things.

[00:11:21] And it was a confession. I thought it was really a waste of time. I thought, why in the world are we doing this? Somebody needs to do something cause it's not meaningful to me. And so I guess maybe I need to make a confess that I've I have learned that just because it's not meaningful to me doesn't mean it's not meaningful to a whole lot of other people. And as I've matured, I've under, I I've begun to understand one of the things that that the Jewish people understood. And I think most of it's in Deuteronomy and, and it's really a funny thing. And that is one of the teachings there is that you should never that you should never lie to a deaf person. and I always wondered why that was there. the issue is that the deaf person doesn't hear the lie. The issue is you lied. And so confession really comes to a place of, it's not really who you're confessing to. now?

[00:12:22] It may be a time when you're asking for forgiveness, but it's really clearing a space to become more who you were created to be. So you're confessing where you have fallen short and I, you know, you gave us the, the pattern and practice of read, reflect, respond, and and return. And lots of times in that return part for me at the end of the day is a time of confession. And it comes in both ways. The confess is, man. I really said something there.

[00:12:51] I shouldn't have said I'll need to ask for forgiveness. Or the confession is I'm really glad, oh God, that you love me more than I can even love myself. I've learned that confession helps me become more who God created me to be. And I've found more hope in the midst of just being honest with God, odd than me trying to out maneuver God.

[00:13:16] And I think That's what confession does more than anything else is that we say, okay, you caught me. No, it's not even that. Okay. This is who I am. I know this is who you want me to be. I'm offering myself to become more of how you created me to be. That's what I was thinking as we were talking him. So I don't know if that makes sense, but that's where it is.

[00:13:40] Sara: That's a good word, Tim. let me remind you once again, that you can find show notes for this episode@transformingmission.org slash 2, 2 3. And if you need a reminder about what confession is really about, that'll be on the show notes as well.

[00:13:59] And remember who you are is how you lead by for now.