Monday, July 2, 2012

Packing And Unpacking by Martin Wiles

Go to retail store, beg for boxes, buy tape, and head home. Assemble boxes; carefully taping the bottom. Insert items, making sure breakable objects are wrapped with bubble wrap or newspaper. When box is full, write contents on the outside and what room it belongs in. And if contents are fragile, note this as well. Load truck, drive to new home, unpack, break down boxes and hopefully enjoy a few years of not packing.

Packing, unpacking and moving are bedfellows of some professions; mine included. I did it by default as a preacher’s kid and have been doing it myself since entering the ministry. While unenjoyable, it goes with the territory.

Packing is similar to repression and denial. Repression is our attempt to keep sinful impulses or ones unacceptable to society out of our consciousness and actions. Denial is failing to admit we even have the impulse. Confession parallels unpacking. We admit to God and others our faults and failures. Packing affects mental, emotional and spiritual health while confession is good for the soul. James thought the same. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed (James 5:16).

Confessing to God is easy. He knows anyway, and I can’t see the expression on his face nor can I hear him express verbal disapproval over my sinful or unwise actions. With others, it’s more difficult. They can retaliate by hating me, disowning me, firing me or inflicting pain. Confession also makes me vulnerable because I admit my imperfections.

In spite of its uncomfortableness, confession brings healing: healing through God’s forgiveness and healing in our relationships with others. Who needs to hear your confession?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, when we’re tempted to deny and repress, prompt us to confess.