confession: welcome to the fellowship of sinners

Confession is so difficult a Discipline for us partly because we view the believing community as a fellowship of saints before we see it as a fellowship of sinners. We come to feel that everyone else has advanced so far into holiness that we are isolated and alone in our sin.
We could not bear to reveal our failures and shortcomings to others. We imagine that we are the only ones who have not stepped onto the high road to heaven. . . .But if we know that the people of God are first a fellowship of sinners we are freed to hear the unconditional call of God’s love and to confess our need openly before our brothers and sisters. We know that we are not alone in our sin. The fear and pride which cling to us like barnacles cling to others also.
In acts of mutual confession we release the power that heals.
Our humanity is no longer denied but transformed.
— Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline

Do you have trouble confessing your failures and shortcomings to other believers? Why or why not?

Post/Tweet this today:
In acts of mutual confession we release the power that heals. – R. Foster #LiveSticky

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  • Nancy

    On of my favoirte quotes – The church is a hosptial for sinners, not a museum for saints.

  • Anonymous

    That pretty much hits it — and is a great way to remember where it is we stand and worship! Thanks Nancy! We’re gonna have to tweet that ya know! :)

  • http://twitter.com/dedraherod dedraherod

    Don’t have trouble confessing my failures and shortcomings to other believers… my testimony is so slimy .. I know that if I’m not honest and real and confess openly I would be back in the pit in a homemade second. There but for the grace of God go I.

    And besides, in reality, we are just a bunch of beggars trying to show each other where the banquet table is!

    Awesome post! Love ya’ll!

  • Tami Heim

    …and grateful for the One that has paid for and prepared a seat at the table for each of us. Love you Dedra…hope my seat is close to yours dear friend.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with you Dedra. I think confession (biblical) takes our relationship with both God and fellow believers to a deeper level—SO worth the risk of looking flawed or “weak.” It’s what builds the body of Christ and the unity God desires in us. Transparency = a relationship that will accompany you into heaven. Sadly, too many believers are still playing perfect. Everyone suffers. We’ve got to trust God’s way more than our own to experience true breakthrough in this area.