CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
I needed to confess something to a friend this week. I’d put it off, thinking it wasn’t a big thing. I hadn’t lied to her, but I had allowed her to believe something that wasn’t true.
I should have corrected her understanding when she first mentioned it, but I didn’t. Was it my pride that stopped me from speaking up immediately? Was I caugh off-guard, or is that just a cop-out for not being willing to step out with integrity?
SIN BY OMISSION
But last week God brought the situation to mind again, and I realized I don’t want anything to stand between my Lord and me. So I wrote a note, confessing my “sin by omission” and correcting my friend’s understanding.
She was gracious, understanding and forgiving. And I no longer have to wear the concern that she may share a partial truth with someone else. https://www.carolloewen.com/search-me-o-god/ Confession brings freedom. I am forgiven by my friend and cleansed, renewed, by the sacrifice and grace of God.
An old hymn says
Nothing between my soul and the Savior, so that his blessed face may be seen, nothing preventing the least of his favor, keep the way clear, let nothing between. (Charles Albert Tindley, 1851-1933)
Tindley was the son of slaves and, although he was a freedman, he was hired out at a young age to work on plantations alongside the slaves. His wage helped his family survive, and he saw firsthand some of the evils of slavery.
Although it was against the law for freed slaves to receive an education, Tindley taught himself to read and write, reading over 8,000 books in his library. https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-nothing-between
CHARLES ALBERT TINDLEY
He worked as a janitor at Calvary Methodist in Philadelphia, became the leading pastor in the Delaware Valley and was appointed a Presiding Elder of the AME in 1900.
As a young person, Tindley said
I made a rule to learn at least one new thing—a thing I did not know the day before—each day.
While working at the church, Tindley enrolled in theology classes and learned Greek. He studied Hebrew with a local Rabbi. He completed his studies in 1902 and then presided over the same church he used to clean. He ministered there with powerful sermons for thirty years, during which time the church’s congregation increased from 200 to nearly ten thousand members. https://diaryofahistorian.com/2015/05/05/we-shall-overcome-the-biography-of-charles-albert-tindley/
He wrote 46 hymns, although not musically educated.
He was sought out regularly by the city’s mayor, as a spokesperson for the African American community.
Tindley was an eminent preacher of Methodism at the turn of the 20th century.
Following his death, the church was renamed Tindley Temple United Methodist Church.
CONFESSION AND GRACE
God’s blessings don’t depend on me, on what I do. He is a God of grace. And yet, I can put a barrier between myself and him when I walk contrary to his standard. Charles Tindley, knowing the evils often perpetrated on his fellow African Americans, still ensured there was nothing between his soul and the Savior. Oh, he spoke about injustice; he worked to change conditions; but he did these things with a focus on keeping a clear channel between himself and God.
I’m glad I confessed. I’ll need to continue confessing, to God and others, because I am a sinner, saved by grace. And I want to keep the lines between my God and me open, my spirit’s arteries free of unconfessed sin.
How about you? Are your channels clear between you and Jesus? If not, I want to encourage you with these words.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9