I was sitting in class a couple of weeks ago, and my professor asked us to imagine ourselves 1600 years from now (that would be about the year 3612 AD, by the way—GASP!). As we are looking for a new “book” (it’s doubtful it would be an actual hold-in-your-hands-made-out-of paper book in 3612AD) in the biographies section of whatever happens to be the cultural equivalent of Amazon.com in 3612AD, and if we were to narrow our search for “biographies” more by typing in the first letter of our last name—for me, “M” – “within the M’s in biographies,” she asked me, “how many of those ‘books’ would be biographies about you?” The whole class laughed, and she was the ever-encouraging professor, by saying, “I have no doubt that some of you may have biographies written about you for your work in the theological world, but 1600 years from now, will your biographies still show up in the top 5 biographies under the first letter of your last name?” Most certainly not! was the response from the entirety of the students. Our professor then pointed out that in the year 2012, 16 centuries after Confessions was written, Augustine’s confession of his failures, heartbreak, outright sinfulness, struggles, frustrations, questioning, conversion, submission to God, and his process of falling ever more deeply in love with his Creator and Savior are still filling the first 5 “best seller” slots in biographies under “A” in Amazon.
There is something incredibly powerful and hope-giving when we are honest with others about our failures and our fears, as well as our struggles and our successes. God built confession into the salvation process, by making confession with our mouths and believing in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord our responsibility. He also desires us to confess to others what the Lord has done in our lives. When we share our confessions with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are working with God in a supernatural way—planting the seeds of salvation, change and growth that the Holy Spirit cultivates and nourishes.