A Confession

A long time ago I read Blue Like Jazz and it totally changed my life.
There's a particular scene within the book that always gets me to the very core.
In this particular scene, Donald Miller [author of Blue Like Jazz] and his friends set up a confessional booth at Reed College during Renn Fayre to confess to the students on campus instead of typically having students come to confess to them. Christianity was not well perceived at Reed's College, but they wanted a chance to show the students on the campus a different aspect of what is typically shown in terms of Christianity:

He {Tony the Beat Poet} continued, "We are going to confess to them. We are going to confess that, as followers of Jesus, we have not been very loving; we have been bitter, and for that we are sorry. We will apologize for the Crusades, we will apologize for televangelists, we will apologize for neglecting the poor and the lonely, we will ask them to forgive us, and we will tell them that in our selfishness, we have misrepresented Jesus on this campus. We will tell people who come into the booth that Jesus loves them."

When I read this particular story, It completely ripped me to the core. 
It is almost as if the words that were being confessed to the students were being confessed to me. 

For many years, I really struggled with the church. It was hard to perceive a good image of Christ when everywhere I turned, I felt judged and ridiculed. I remember hating people within the church because they were so hypocritical; instead of love, they were always quick to condemn me as being flawed. Instead of patience and kindness, I felt that every little thing I did  was gossiped about. I never felt good enough and I never felt accepted; I never felt worthy enough for the kingdom nor did I feel I could measure up to Christianity. Because of this, I hated everything that had to do with God and anyone that was associated with God. In high school, I liked to play church, but in actuality I had walked away from anything religiously related years ago.
Long story short, I found God in a real and awesome way and since then have realized how beautiful 
God is despite the flaws in humanity. 

But in reading Blue Like Jazz, I felt conviction within my own life.
I realized that there are so many things I have done that have brought shame and disgrace to the thing I love the most... that I too have flawed the name of Christianity and the beauty that lies within it.
So tonight...tonight I want to share my own confessions with you.
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When I became a Christian, I had all this energy and motivation. I was going to go out and save the world, feed the hungry, and give to the needy. I was changed and reformed and I was going to be one of those awesome, unashamed type Christians. 
And you know what, I've really sucked at it. 
Don't get me wrong, I really and truly love God. Everyday I strive to be more Christ-like and everyday I  work on loving more and hating less. I  attempt to pay my tithe every week  and I reach out to those are hurting, but I know that's not enough.
 I need to confess.
I'm sorry to all of you I have hurt with my words and my slander.
I'm sorry for the things I've said behind your back and I'm sorry for the things I didn't say and should have. 
I'm sorry for pre-judging you and always lacking in giving enough grace.
I'm sorry for those times I was too distracted in the busyness of the day to simply sit and talk with you, and I'm sorry for those times I really lack in the loving department. 
I'm sorry for being too ashamed to be strong about the things I believe and going along with you just because I was too afraid to be open with you.
I'm sorry for those intentions I meant to do and never followed through with, and I am sorry for my anger in the times of your insecurity. 
I'm sorry for my pride and my lack of respect, and I'm sorry that I really suck in giving to the needy, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and offering shelter to those who are shelterless.
Most importantly,
I'm sorry for the lack of Christ I have shown in your life.

I'm sorry for groups like the Westboro Baptist church who slander the name of Christ by never showing compassion, grace, and love.
I'm sorry for the politicians who speak of their love of God and then sleep with their intern while they cheat on their wives. 
I'm sorry to the homosexual community and the harassment and the abuse you may have received from any one that professed the name of Jesus Christ.
I'm sorry to those who have been beaten, neglected, ridiculed, or rejected by the church and it's affiliates. 
I'm sorry we haven't been more Christ-like and I'm sorry we haven't shown you how really good God is.  
Please know, we are human and we have sometimes horrible tendencies.
We don't always show a good reflection of Christianity, but believe me, I'm trying.
And I'll keep working,
Because I really and truly want you to know how good God is...
and I really want you to be able to experience His love.

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  1. Thanks for the honesty H. I love you girl!

  2. Excellent post. real. true. and honest. It was a great reminder to me as well. thanks.

  3. Anonymous5/06/2012

    Amen, great post!


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