Are You Raising a Sin Concealer or a Sin Confessor?
An Article from The Culture Translator
John Baker, the founder of Celebrate Recovery, recently passed away. His unique vision for combining the hope of the gospel with the rigor of AA’s 12-step program helped thousands of Christians find help for “hurts, hangups and habits.” Environments like this that encourage Christians to live in the light are glorious and necessary; as Paul writes in Ephesians 5:12-13, “It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light."
We were talking with a mom a few months ago about how to put restrictions on her daughter’s smartphone when we heard the daughter quip, “The stricter the parent, the sneakier the child.” For a while afterward, we presented this maxim to other parents, asking whether they thought anything had been left out of it. Eventually, a man proposed that the real issue was this: “Are you raising a sin concealer or a sin confessor?” In other words, are we creating environments where teens feel like it’s good and safe to be honest about sins and shortcomings, or environments that prize looking publicly put together over everything else, and which make sneaking around seem like the better option?
The recent scandals at RZIM remind us that as the body of Christ, we need places that make it safe to be honest and vulnerable—one reason being that sin tends to grow in the dark. This is doubly relevant for teens today whose disillusionment with the church needs to be met with authenticity, and who (like all of us) need to see spiritual health modeled. Unless our teens see us modeling behaviors like the confession of sin, it won’t be part of their paradigm either.
Toward that end, here are a few questions for discussion or reflection:
- Do you have anyone you feel like you can be completely honest with?
- What makes someone a safe person to share deep things with?
- How should we respond when others are vulnerable with us?