Have you ever clarified things to yourself? Doing this helped me know what I was struggling to resolve so I could let it go.

If our role is unclear, we can find ways to justify parts or ignore parts of it. We can end up confessing in words but not in heart. And if our past wrongs are wrapped up in complex situations, we can get distracted with the roles other people played instead of focusing on the choice(s) we made.

Naming what we’ve done allows us to take responsibility for it and practice telling the truth. It brings it out of the dark and into the light. In the process we learn more about ourselves and the fact that we all make mistakes. We’re still worthy of love, and we have the unconditional love of God.

In his book The Journey, Billy Graham writes about a time King David tried to hide a sin he committed and how it affected him:

When King David refused to confess his adultery with Bathsheba and suppressed his feelings of guilt, he paid a price both spiritually and physically: ‘When I kept silent, my bones wasted away. . . . My strength was sapped’ (Psalm 32:3-4). Only when he faced his sin and sought God’s forgiveness did his health return. The Bible says, ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones’ (Proverbs 12:22).

Keeping it inside is like pushing it down and locking it up in the dark of your heart or gut. It sits and festers and maybe grows. And it pains you as it grows.

Bring it out! Open the door and let in the light. It’s a warm light, a cleansing light, a healing light. And your Loving Father waits for you to invite Him inside that space. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

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