A Southern Gospel Cruise? Ok ok, it wasn’t like the whole cruise was singing amazing grace…but yes that was the group I was in. Just like any cruise ship though, Carnival’s newest addition, the Magic, had everything we could ask for.
Great food, Free food, water park, wonderful food, putt-putt, great food, and 2 stops in the Bahamas. I even had a lady in Nassau shout out “Come get your bahama mama,”
I was uncertain what she meant but was sure I didn’t want one. I set back towards the ship instead.
It was indeed Magic.
I know what you’re thinking though still…Southern Gospel? I understand. Southern Gospel has indeed tainted itself with story after story of tragic infidelity and marital failure. Often the singers themselves are denoted as “fake” or “made-up”, just out to charm a few old folks and take their money.
Not this cruise and not these singers.
Before singing their next “number”, one of the groups’ members stood up and started sharing. However, what he shared was not cheesy nor for show. He told of his own moral failure. He did not glorify it but rather said with tear-filled eyes of how he had failed his family, lost his wife and kids, and his ministry. The silence was deafening.
But he continued. He said something that we all need to hear more of. He told of his guilt, and the shame that resulted. He wallowed in it, as most of us would. He considered himself useless to God. He then said, however, that the Holy Spirit continued to work in his life and he realized something that caught my ear.
“Shame is not of God…guilt should not lead there in Christ. Conviction, Repentance and Renewal are from God.”
He had revealed something that many of us struggle with. Confession is necessary. And here’s why…
What he did in that moment was recognize and glorify God’s victory over his sin. His sin was real. His shame was real. Satan would love for believers to live in shame. Shame from secret sin that we carry, whether current or past. The enemy would relish the opportunity to render us “unable” to serve because we are wrecked with shame. In Christ we have conquered the grave, sin and the shame of sin. We do not have to and SHOULD NOT live in shame. But in order for that to have its full affect in our lives, we must confess.
What we realize upon confession, is that we are not confessing sin at all. That would be both shaming to us and glorifying to the sin. But rather we are declaring Christ’s victory in our lives and confessing his glorious victory over sin.
Few of us need more Cruises, Most of us need current Conviction, and I would venture to say we all need to practice more Confession.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
You can confess that all day folks (spoken like a southern preacher)