True Confessions of a Recovering HATER: Part III
While surfing the web one day I stumbled across Gabrielle Union’s 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey. The topic of discussion was an acceptance speech Union Gave at Essence Magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood pre-Oscars luncheon. As her peers sat stunned Gabrielle used that major platform to expose her “mean girl” behavior.
“We live in a town that rewards pretending and I have been pretending to be fierce and fearless for a very long time. . . I used to shrink in the presence of other dope beautiful women. I used to revel in gossip and rumors and I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone – that I felt – whose shine diminished my own. I took joy in people’s pain and I tap danced on their misery. . . It’s easy to pretend to be fierce and fearless because living your truth takes real courage. Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and they work to correct them. We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self promotion. . . Real fierce and fearless women celebrate and compliment other women and we recognize and embrace the notion that their shine in no way diminishes our light and that it actually makes our light shine brighter.
Union’s speech aimed the spotlight on Hollywood, but being a HATER is a universal ill. Deeply rooted in fear and insecurity it spreads like a viral disease; but there is a cure. In the previous blog post we identified 3 steps we can take on the journey to becoming a reformed hater. This brings us to – what I think is – one of the most difficult and equally powerful components on this road to recovery.
Step 4: After You Own It Confess It Too
In the comfort of our brain we become anesthetized to jealousy. We justify it as a not-so-bad-sin in comparison to murder and adultery. But make no mistake – it is sin – and viewed the same in God’s sight. We must allow ourselves to feel the weight of our behavior by exposing the truth.
I am not saying let’s all sit across from Oprah and confess our sins on a large platform. Confession is delicate and cannot be done haphazardly. I am saying find a TRUSTED, SAFE, and WISE accountability partner you can be gut ugly with. (If you don’t have one there are some helpful suggestions in the resource tab of this website.)
It is difficult mustering up the courage to share your faults with someone else, but this single act breaks the power of sin in our lives. I experienced this power firsthand when I confessed to the person whom I had been jealous of. Yes, it is embarrassing to admit, but this thorn in my flesh has progressed beyond mere strangers and ventured into the realm of close friendships.
In fact, as I was preparing for this series my mind was bombarded with guilt regarding jealous thoughts I had towards a long time friend. Fearing my honesty would cost the friendship, I took a risk and told her how I struggled for years concerning her. It was humbling, to say the least, but I got through it – and afterwards, I felt like something broke inside my soul.
Author and pastor, Andy Stanley gives a compelling argument for confession in his book, It Came From Within.
“The reason you still feel guilty about things in your past is because they are still unresolved. Telling God you are sorry doesn’t resolve your guilt because God was not the only offended party. Talking to God is not enough. Your burden of guilt won’t be lifted until you confess to the offended party. Then, and only then, can you live out in the open, Only then will you be free from the secrets that have formed walls between you and the people you love most.
Thankfully, she graciously accepted my apology and we moved on. I wish I could promise you confession will be smooth; I can’t. What I can say is – as someone who has had to confess more times than I’d like to admit – I know God will strengthen you to do what must be done. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” And as we confess our sins we can take comfort in knowing we are completely loved and accepted by God.
Our jealous actions are not enough to keep God from loving us. “. . . I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” Romans 8: 37 – 39 (MSG)