"If the family dog could talk, I wonder who would be the first to shoot it." This is one of my Uncle Brian's favourite sayings. Imagine all the little quirks that go on when the doors are closed. Imagine how many times a finger is inserted into one's nose when no one is around. Imagine the songs sung in the shower. It is amazing how much secret weirdness a person actually carries around. Even more amazing than that is when one weirdo comes across another weirdo with the exact same quirk.
Having just completed my third year at Bible College, I have spent a great amount of time in a weirdo nesting ground. When the sun is down and the homework is done (or in procrastination hibernation) and the dorm is having its "quiet time," this is when girls from all over the country conglomerate in each other's rooms and reveal things they would never even tell their mother. Interestingly enough, one finds that they are not alone. For instance, an entire hall of girls confessed to shaving their toes. While I was not part of this conversation, my best friend told me that it was a real bonding experience for all.
Whether it is toe shaving, plucking stray hairs out of one's chin or "fessing up" to using men's deodorant, there is a certain comfort in finding out that someone else shares the same weirdness as you. Something that was initially embarrassing to admit suddenly becomes a common bond. While admitting crazy quirks is freeing in a goofy kind of way, the same principle works for confessing sin to one another. In my second year at Bible College I confessed to the Dean of Women that I was a secret Harry Potter fan, and to my amazement, she admitted that she was one too! With two Potter fans finally out of the "broom closet" it was an immense relief that I had someone who would not look down on me for my secret and often debated indulgences.
James 5:16 exhorts readers to "confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed." Aside from the rest of the Bible, no truer words have been penned. While God created us primarily to be in communion with Him, let us not forget the place that relationships with others has in a believer's life. As relational beings, we can choose to encourage one another in sinful patterns, or we can own up to them and seek healing together. Few things are as beautiful and freeing as when two or more believers come together before God, admit their humanity, and encourage one another to emanate Christ more.
So whether it is toe shaving, nose picking (maybe not), or those ridiculously addicting secular romance novels (it has been three years since my last Harlequin), there is freedom in confession, provided that it is used as a means to spur one another one to righteousness and not a license to continue on. So c'mon... fess up! Who knows: maybe you can double up with someone on a toe waxing kit.
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Stephanie! I LOVE this! What a treat! What a treat! Goodness, I thought I was the only one who loved romance, shaved my toes, and sang in the shower! ;-) On a more serious note, I really did need to hear that subtle message about confessing to one another. Thanks.