Do you know what a fishing weight is? It’s a lead weight that fishermen use to sink their lines deeper in the water. Sometimes they are called “lead sinkers.” Picture those little weights hooked into your skin. Hundreds of the small lead balls hooked into your back, your legs, your face. All over.
Every secret you carry is like one of those weights. Every shame and guilt, every pretending about the truth. Some weigh just a couple of ounces. But they add up. You’ve been carrying some of them since childhood. You add more every year, until covered with them like scales. They click and clink as you walk. You button your shirt over them, but they are still there.
Confession is dislodging the hooks and dropping the weights. Every time you tell a truth, admit a fault, name a fear, embrace a desire or reveal a sin – you pull out one of those little masses of denial. Painful process – but worth it. When you let go and it drops to the floor, you breathe. Confession lightens the heart.
Try it. Just as an experiment. It almost doesn’t matter what it is. Confess something. When the lady at Target asks you if you found everything you needed, instead of saying, “Sure,” tell the truth: “Well no actually. I got confused in the health section looking for toenail clippers and when someone walked up behind me, I ran.”
Well OK. Maybe that’s not a good example. But the principle is right. Do the experiment. Find a truth and confess it. Say it out loud. Say it to someone else if you dare. And then see if you don’t feel the little weights slip off of you.
Here, I’ll show you. Here are a few confessions of mine – a few (of the smaller) secrets.
- I wear orthopedic devices in my shoes.
- Angry women scare me.
- I can get a little obsessed with unsightly hair follicles.
- I am not a leader.
See what I mean? I don’t know why I’m so afraid to confess them. Pride, fear, pressure from others? But I know this; carrying them is becoming too much for me. I want freedom and lightness of heart. These little secrets of mine are heavier than they look. They weigh me down. And what of the heavier secrets – the ones I wouldn’t publish? Lumps of shame. Masses of sin. If I can’t or won’t admit little ones – how will I ever lose the big ones?
I’m tired. These lead balls are sinking me. Why carry them?
Start your list. Start confessing. I dare you.
Roger Edwards joined The Barnabas Center in 1991. In addition to counseling individuals & couples, Roger teaches & leads discussion groups about applying the Bible to everyday life. He is a licensed professional counselor, holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana & earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from UNCC. He is married to Jean, and they have seven children.