By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 10, trusting with the heart leads to righteousness and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation
Barring surfers and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ‘righteous’ is not a word we use all that often. We have little frame of reference for what it actually means. Theologically speaking, to be righteous is to be made right with God, to be reconciled. Paul talks not only about the ways in which God has reconciled us to God through Jesus, but reminds the Romans that they are to be made right with one another. For years, my silent confession during Sunday services read like a static laundry list: ‘Forgive me for swearing and yelling at my sister and brother. I’m sure there are things that I’ve forgotten, please forgive me for those things, too.’ Rinse. Repeat. I find myself confessing a lot more these days and trying to pull from a bit deeper. Any time I realize I’ve messed up, I turn to someone I trust, admit my wrong, and try to figure out how to make it right. At Mercy, we talk about salvation as being that which brings about a fuller experience of life; others more closely associate it with being delivered from evil or difficult situations. Regardless, I think this to be true of confession: without acknowledging our harmful participation, our own hurts, and places that could use some self-improvement, we cannot find release from tired responses.
Prayer Forgiving God, help me to see how I wrong you and others.