"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." - 2 Timothy 2:22-26 ESV
I was thinking this morning about the picture of the man of God being a man who is trustworthy as a wholesome confidant. Some people have no one to trust with their faults or misdeeds. They can't tell family nor do they feel they can tell their friends and yet they are burdened by fears, guilt and shame.
In the catholic tradition they could tell their priest and that secret is kept confidential.
We all have a marvelous provision that everyone should take advantage of.
"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:8-9 ESV
I talk to God everyday and rely on the provision found in this passage. God is faithful. This is primary and irreplaceable.
At the same time parallel to this it is wonderful to have people that do not strive. They are not quarrelsome. They can be trusted. The are not accomplices who share a secret. They are people who can teach us how to do the thing that would set us free from our burden. They travel a wholesome road and welcome company on that road for the journey.
"From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." - 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 ESV
Isn't it wonderful to be with a person who sees you as new even if your faults have been made known to them. What a treasure that is. If we have family members like that we are very fortunate. If we have friends like that we are rich people.
The finished work of Christ allows us this perspective. Old things have passed away and all things have become new. A nail pieced hand reaches down into the pit of shame and guilt and pulls us out into the light to live lives of freedom.
Depending on the error that might not mean a release from all consequences. It is good for us to face the music for certain things. It is needed but it does mean freedom from the bondage of guilt, shame and the loneliness of isolation. Maybe all any of us need is a companion who will go with us and encourage us in Christ's stead because they have His mind.
"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." - Galatians 6:1-3 ESV
I think this morning of children who are not equipped to bear the burden of their parents but instead of going to someone outside the family the parent has loaded something on their child that is heavy and smothering for them to bear. I pray for those situations. If only someone with knowledge and experience with God could be brought in then both parties could be set free.
For some issues it is best if the minister of reconciliation is someone unaffected and has a little distance so that the counsel can be free from a personal agenda.
The key to freedom from wrong knowledge is right knowledge. The cross of Christ is that right knowledge. Jesus died for the sins of man. It is finished. Mankind has a provision of forgiveness. Once that provision has been received we can die to self so that others can live.
"The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." - 1 John 3:8b ESV
He has destroyed those works at the cross and the cross is still active to destroy those works in people's lives. Let's take up His cross and live in the cycle of resurrection.
Help us God. Help us be trustworthy people. Help us to face the music if that is what is needed. We know You know us and love us. We are so grateful for that. You see all who believe as clean and perfect in Your Son. Thank You God for for loving us and making a way of escape for us.