Pastor and writer, John Ortberg writes of what he said was one of the most important moments in his spiritual life. He sat down with a longtime Christian friend and told him, “I don’t want to have any secrets anymore.”
He says, I told him everything I was most ashamed of. I told him about my jealousies, my cowardice, how I hurt my wife with my anger. I told him about my history with money and my history with sex. I told him about deceit and regrets that keep me up at night. I felt vulnerable because I was afraid that I was going to lose connection with him. Much to my surprise, he did not even look away.
I will never forget his next words.
"John," he said. "I have never loved you more than I love you right now." The very truth about me that I thought would drive him away became a bond that drew us closer together. He then went on to speak with me about secrets he had been carrying.
I’ve seen this happen in my own life on many occasions. Just recently the staff was on retreat back in August, and one morning we just spent some time coming clean on some really significant issues in our lives and what I really felt in that room was the love of Christ and the acceptance that He gives.
What about one more example that some of you experienced? Just three weeks ago, Ryan Loveing stood on this stage and presented some pretty intense biblical truth about holiness in our lives as Christians. He hit us hard and the services went on for over 2 hours, but so many of you came and kept on coming. Why? Well, God was working in your heart primarily, but I think there was something about Ryan that God used to bring you back. It was his transparency. Because he was willing to open up to you, you connected with him and you probably walked away from that revival feeling closer to that group than you ever thought possible.
This is the potential with Christian relationships. Often in the world, you have to cover up. You are putting out the prson you want people to think you are. If you do confess openly to another person apart from Christ, you still have no power to do anything about the addiction or the guilt you carry over your sin. Listen! It is only in the context of Christian friendship do you not only find the transparency of relationships, but the power of forgiveness to really deal with sin. That is why your Christian family is so important. When you confess your faults one to another and when you share your troubles and sorrows together, healing is available; forgiveness can be genuinely offered; effective, fervent prayer can be offered. The load is lightened because the load is genuinely shared. And THAT, my friend is the blessed life!