Keep Current Accounts with GodBlog / Produced by The High Calling
How can I find a sense of loving community with other Christians in a safe atmosphere of honesty?
I realized that if Christianity is a living relationship with God, I had to find out what this God is really like to whom I had committed my future. I realized that my closest relationships had always been with those who knew the most about me and loved me anyway. So I began to reveal my inner life to God, all of it (even though I knew he already knew). This experience taught me the strange power in prayer of being specific with God. After making as total and complete a confession of all the moral weaknesses and specific sins I could recall, I thanked him for his forgiveness. I began to examine myself daily and "keep current accounts with God."
In trying to be totally honest, I found a new freedom and sense of being accepted. Now I didn't psychologically need to gloss over my true greed and lust and excuse it as being insignificant. I knew I was accepted. Instead of saying, "Lord, today I exaggerated a little on my expense account, but you know everyone does," I was able to say, "Lord, I cheated on my expense account today. Help me not to be a dirty thief." Or instead of saying, "Lord, I exaggerated when I described that business deal," I began to be able to level with God and simply say, "Lord, I lied again, trying to make myself feel more important. This is the kind of man I am. Forgive me and give me the power and the desire to be different."
As I read passages like 1 John 1:9, I began to really believe that God could forgive me and would. Then I began to realize that by my living more openly (in"'light") I not only felt closer to God, but I was able to experience the loving family/community in a shared life of openness and reality with other sharing Christians. The pressures inside my life began to change. Things began to be different, not only in my devotional time but in my whole day. And I realized that if I continued to love God and his people and live openly in God's family, I'd find the spiritual fellowship I wanted so much to have. In looking for specific things to thank God for each morning, I began to see his hand everywhere, and life became richer and filled with good things—and vulnerable, honest people.
"But if we walk in the light (reality, being real), as he is in the light (reality), we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:7-9 (NIV)
Reprinted from The Taste of New Wine, pages 57-58, with permission.