Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind & strength
Love your neighbour as you…
Love your self.
Love of God, neighbour and self are all interwoven. I’ve been thinking lately about confession, which – like love – occurs in relationship. Protestants often are quick to give reasons why they don’t confess to a priest like Catholics. “Through Christ, we can confess [but do we!?] directly to God…” Fair enough. But one thing about confession to a priest is that at least they are confessing horizontally as well as vertically.
I may be wrong, but I suspect that Protestants are not that great at horizontal confession. When we do it, we often only confess the really easy-to-confess stuff. “Oh, I just have to be honest with you… I’ve allowed myself to get too busy this week.” In the ModWest, being busy is a virtue, for crying out loud – that’s hardly confession… Rarely do we [OK… I!!] have a) the courage, and b) the quality of relationship to confess the darkest, deepest, hardest-to-confess stuff.
My theory is that our vertical confession is at least complimented (and, at most, completed!?) by our horizontal confession. I reckon it can be all too easy to create a ‘god’ that suits our (vertical) confessional needs; that responds to our confession with just the perfect amount and flavour of gentleness, assurance, anger, frustration or whatever makes us feel better – which is too often the reason for doing it anyway…
Confession, like love, is meant to be so holistically real that it touches all of our person – our emotions (heart), our identity (soul), our thoughts (mind) and our actions (strength). May we be truly honest, real and vulnerable in our confession – vertically to God, horizontally to our close, trusted friends, and even internally to ourselves!!
Confess to the Lord, with all your heart, soul, mind & strength
Confess to your neighbour as you…
Confess to yourself.