By Kyle Scheele
On the first day of 2005, a man named Frank Warren started the first post of what would become one of the most popular blogs on the Internet. Warren’s blog, called Postsecret, offers no investing advice, how-to instructions, or news on the latest trends. Furthermore, the design of the site is very simple; a black background, with very few words, and about 20 pictures at a time.
So what is it that makes this blog so popular? Confession.
The premise of the site is simple. Users send anonymous postcards to Warren’s PO Box, detailing their innermost secrets. Warren then chooses a sampling of these cards to display on the site, posting about 20 new cards each Sunday. Often, one must be careful on the site, due to the crude language and outright dirty acts mentioned on some of the cards.
But why does this work? Why is it that people would want to spill their guts to the world? What would make thousands of people spend time handcrafting postcards that confess their deepest sins, laying bare hidden motives and brushing aside excuse?
It seems as though we’ve missed something in our understanding of confession. Perhaps our theology is just a bit off.
Too many people think that God calls us to confess our sins so that he can shake his cosmic finger at us, his “tsk, tsk” echoing across galaxies. Too many think that God gets his kicks from our shame.
If that’s you, you’ve got it all wrong. As Christians, we serve a God who is omniscient. In case you just woke up, that means “all-knowing”. As in, God knows your sin before you tell him. So why do we have to tell him? Perhaps its not for his good, but for ours.
Postsecret is great evidence, from the secular world, of the healing power of confession. These secret-senders, who are often unbelievers, understand the need to unload. They understand that God did not give us the capacity to carry our sin on our own.
Today, when you spend time with God, try approaching Him with a renewed understanding of prayer and confession. See how good it feels to lay bare your soul to the Creator of the universe and to hear Him say, “I know, I know… I knew all along, and I loved you just the same.”