“But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over me.” Psalm 19: 12-13
What if we’re not as self-aware as we like to think we are?
Sometimes we come quickly to ask for forgiveness for wilful sins, other times we come begrudgingly or sheepishly following that all-too-familiar nudge from the Holy Spirit. But what about our hidden faults? The ones that, despite our best intentions, we cannot see?
As the local, national or even international Church, I would hope that we have learnt from our past and are able to ask for forgiveness for our wilful sins. But are we asking for forgiveness for our hidden sins? Or are we too prideful to even consider that there could be sins we are unaware of?
I came across this quote from one of the fantastic books I have read during lockdown: “It is vital that we don’t get so hung up thinking about protecting the Church that we fail to protect the people in it. If people are harmed and damaged, we should want to do something about this. The task for the Church is to work to create healthy cultures.”
So many times during its history, the Church has chosen to protect the ‘itself’ rather than the people in it. But given that the Church is the people, what were we really striving to protect?
The year 2020 has brought the Church to yet another one of these scenarios. But this time around, are we willing to look inside ourselves, our local church, and national movements to ask for forgiveness for these hidden faults? Or will we continue to claim ‘self-awareness’ that leads to little change, if any at all?
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn away from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sins and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7: 14 Working through this will by no means be a fun or enjoyable process, as anyone who’s had to awkwardly ask for real forgiveness will know. But when our hidden faults become a barrier to those seeking Jesus and His healing and restoration, it should make us stand up and pay attention. It will require bucketloads of humility and grace, and for us to cling to Jesus more than ever, but it is more than worth it for the healing and restoration that will follow.
 Oakley, L. and Humphreys, J., 2019. Escaping the Maze of Spiritual Abuse: Creating Healthy Christian Cultures.