Several years ago I sat in the office of a dear friend with tears streaming down my face. I had come to her because I believed that God had brought sin to mind that I needed to confess. It was sin that had happened before I came to the saving knowledge of Christ, but I believed that it was sin that God could not forgive, sin that He remembered. For years I had carried this darkness within in, believing that I was evil. That I was even capable of such evil was even more disturbing to my heart.
I sat there that day, fearful that what I was about to share would change her love forever. That what she was about to hear would cause a distance in our friendship. Yet I felt compelled to confess it all to her. Her tender, compassionate eyes never left my face. I remember seeing such love for me in those eyes, a love that at the time confused me. A love that I did not understand.
She did not speak until I was finished. Then she reached for my hand and with great love and compassion she said, “Sharon your sin was nailed to the cross. It has been forgiven. We all our capable of evil apart from God. But that evil that you fear lives in you is a lie straight from hell. When you accepted Christ as Lord His Spirit came to live in you and the person you were, the sins you committed are no longer apart of you.” Then she said something remarkable, almost unbelievable to my heart, “This confession does not change God’s love for you and it does not surprise Him. He knows what each of us are capable of apart from Him, it’s why He sent His Son. And Sharon, just in case there is any doubt in your heart my love for you has not changed. There is nothing you could say or do that would change my love for you.”
I left that day a little lighter in my Spirit, but couldn’t help but wonder, “Was a love like that even possible?”
As God brought the above circumstance to mind this morning during my time with Him I realized something. My dear friend has never brought that day back up. She has never reminded me of the sins I confessed or used them against me in anyway. It’s as if she has forgotten all about it and until today I too had forgotten.
This reminded me of Jeremiah 31:34b “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”and of Psalms 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has HE removed our transgressions from us.”
So today I give praise to a God that He no longer remembers my sin. When we come before Him with sorrow that produces a repentance then it is a sorrow that leads us to salvation. (2 Cor 7:8-11) And when we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
As I remember that day I feel a deeper connection to my dear friend, for it was through her love of God that she poured out to me that I gain a greater understanding of His love. She has modeled to me His love, a love that does not change, a love that is constant, no matter what I do.
I can’t help but wonder if this is, in part, why Jesus says to confess our sins to one another. When a brother or sister confesses their sin to us not only do we have the privileged of helping them be accountable but we can also model the love of Jesus to them. What a great gift He has given us!
I want to love like your friend.