Miller writes that there are two times you confess your sin: before or after you get caught. The first is true confession, the second is merely owning up.
Do we ever confess before being caught? Rarely in our society. Maybe because I am an attorney and have worked in the legal field for almost two decades. My clients only "confess" when the evidence against them is overwhelming.
But outside of a legal setting, there are different kinds of confession. Before God. Within our family.
A few days ago we went out to dinner for my birthday. My daughter Catherine made me a pretend birthday cake with two pieces of bread, some butter and some jelly. She was basically playing with her food. She would not eat it, as she has a history of refusing to eat it. She wanted me to eat it. She kept handing it to me and saying "Here's your birthday cake, Mommy."
The problem is I really don't like jelly and I had my own food on my plate which I wanted to eat. I didn't want to eat her so-called birthday cake. So, I told her no, I would not eat it. Thankfully, she didn't seem to react to my refusal to eat it.
But later that night, after she went to bed, I began to feel guilty. Her heart was in the right place; Catherine was making a gift for me out of love for me, to celebrate by birthday. Yet, I shot down her efforts. I feel so bad now. If I continue to act so ungrateful, will I destroy her loving, giving spirit? Why did I model such ungrateful behavior?
In retrospect, I was clearly wrong. I should have acted grateful and eaten at least some of the cake.
So how do I correct the situation? Obviously I can change my behavior for future similar incidents. But, should I confess to her what I did wrong at this point? Catherine fortunately has a short memory for situations like this. Would bringing the issue back up now upset her?
This post is inspired by the book Into the Depths of God by Calvin Miller.