If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. [1 John 1:8-9 (NLT)]
My grandmother lived in a beautiful large house. To the left of the foyer, behind closed French doors, was an elegant room she called the “drawing room,” but it wasn’t an artist’s studio where people drew. With its grand piano, silk draperies, formal furniture, and crystal chandelier, it was a room saved for entertaining special guests. Strategically placed near the front door, guests could go directly into it without passing through the rest of the house. As splendid as the room was, I never saw anyone in it; family and close friends always gathered in the “library.”
Instead of a drawing room, Aunt Ruby’s large farm house had a front parlor reserved for special guests (like the pastor). Close friends and family, however, always gathered on the front porch or around the farmhouse table in the kitchen. When I grew up, our special room for guests was called the living room even though we really lived in the den! Whether it was called a drawing room, parlor, living room, salon, or just the “good” room, many homes had a room set apart with the best furniture (sometimes covered in plastic) for company. This room was off-limits and kept pristine for special occasions and honored guests.
While we might conceal unfolded laundry or dirty dishes from guests, what do we keep hidden from God? Do we keep Jesus out of the dark corners of our lives and only allow Him into the “good” room? Do we hide our faults and weaknesses from Him the way we would unmade beds from a guest? Are we so ashamed of things both done and left undone or of the scars left by things done to us that we keep them hidden behind closed doors? Or, are we humble enough to open those doors, turn on the lights, and show Jesus everything there is, including our lapses, laziness, and lies? Do we trust Him enough to let Him see the mess left by our impatience, anger, and every stupid selfish decision we’ve made?
If our sins are forgiven, why do we need to confess them? Why do we need to let Jesus out of the parlor to see the real us? It’s not that He doesn’t already know what’s in the rest of our messy lives. Our sins were forgiven at the moment of salvation but it’s through confession that we lay claim to that forgiveness! By keeping Jesus in the pristine parlor, we’re denying, diminishing, concealing, excusing, or blaming others for our sins. Confession is trusting Jesus enough to let Him all the way into the house—into the dirty corners and locked rooms of our lives. Confession is how we build a relationship with Him and begin to be the people Jesus wants us to be. Don’t keep Jesus in the fancy drawing room; let Him into your heart!