Paul Tripp explains the difference between admission and confession,and in doing so, presses christians to “dig deeper” and “confess bigger” so that grace can effect true heart-based repentance. His principles are most appropriate in their application to our relational sins as well.
While reading this, I was reminded of situations I have encountered where these principles were seriously ignored and compromised, in an attempt to cover a corrupt heart. In one case, a brother was caught secretly recording a confidential meeting in order to try to entrap me. When confronted by multiple ministers, he responded with a shallow admission that he merely had a lapse in judgement.
Tripp on the other hand, points us to emulate the depth and bigness of David’s heartfelt confession that brings forth redemptive turnaround in our lives. Scripture calls that the fruit of repentance.
Here is an excerpt:
“Last week I wrote you about the subtle, yet significant, difference between the admission of wrongand true confession. Admission of wrong has two potential flaws. First, we might admit only because we were caught. And second, we might admit to only our behavior – not the heart motives behind it.
Now please, don’t mistake me. Admitting wrong and confessing behavioral action is good and necessary. Bu we need to go deeper. Our confession needs to be bigger.
Take the example of David in Psalm 51. When he prays for a pure heart and a steadfast spirit (v. 10, 11), he’s acknowledging that his struggle runs deeper than just behavior. He’s not only confessing to the physical acts of adultery and murder, but also to the reality of a heart that’s corrupt.
He’s confessing that his heart loves personal pleasure more than it loves the Lord. When he talks of God’s desire for a truthful and wise heart (v. 6), he’s confessing to a heart that has craved what was impure and that has loved what was foolish.
It’s only when you confess that your heart is corrupt that bigger things begin to happen. You turn…really turn. You don’t just turn from that specific sin pattern, but your heart turns to God in new and deeper ways.”