“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
When my kids were little, Matthew and I lived far away from family. I would be lying if I said raising four kids on our own was easy. Fortunately, I was able to work part time, night shifts, as a nurse so that I could be home with the kids during the daytime. I loved the summertime at home with my kids. Long, lazy summer days that seemed to go on and on…. and on and on and on.
Okay, some of those days were tough. I can remember talking to my mother on the phone on one particularly difficult day and telling her that my home felt like a daycare, only no one ever went home. When my oldest two boys were about five and seven, I would send them outside to play in our back yard. I’d leave the sliding door that led to our screened in porch open so that I could hear them playing while I entertained and took care of the younger two. Divide and conquer was my motto.
One day, I had managed to get the younger kids to go down for naps at the same time. I had won the lottery. I sat down on the couch to try once more to fold a load of laundry when I heard a cry and then two sets of little feet stomping up the steps outside. I knew something was up and it wasn’t good. My peace would be short lived. The first to appear through the door was my oldest son. Standing there in the doorway with his hands on his hips, he admitted, “Okay. I did it. I hit him.”
Behind my oldest then came his younger brother with tears rolling down his dirty little face. He stood there lingering behind his brother, all wounded looking, his tattle already told for him. His brother had not only hit him, he had stolen his thunder, too. It truly was hard not to laugh in the face of such a situation, but I had to hold my poker face in check and referee the situation. Admonitions were handed down, amends were made, and forgiveness gave way to more playing in the back yard. Most of the time little boys would rather play than hold a grudge.
When my husband and I were dating and got engaged, he sat me down and confessed everything he had ever done wrong or had ever been accused of doing. He had given his life to Christ and surrendered it to full time ministry, but he had once been quite the adventurous and challenging teenager. He didn’t want there to ever be secrets or undisclosed issues standing between us. It was a brave thing to do, and I loved him for it. He came to me with everything before the enemy could use it to cause us trouble later on. He had just stolen his accuser’s thunder.
I thought about both of those times again last night as I sat in church listening to some truths about the enemy of our souls. He is the accuser. He accuses us to the Father, and to ourselves. His finger pointing is legendary. He loves it when we misstep or do something we shouldn’t do. So instead of hiding it, why don’t we just run to the Father ourselves? Why not just own it, deal with it, and get on with it?
Just like Adam and Eve, so often we want to hide our missteps from the Father… as if He doesn’t know already what we’ve done. We choose to hide in the bushes while our adversary goes straight to Him and tattles on us. Most of the time, we know when we are at fault. The best thing we can do is outrun our accuser to the Father to make amends first. Can you imagine the disdain of our adversary if we did that?
We’d already be finding mercy, forgiveness and restoration before he could even get a single word out against us.