The Sin Men Don’t Talk About

The only way for something dirty to get clean is for something clean to get dirty.

– Sinclair Ferguson
Before delving into the sin men never talk about, I need to affirm an undeniable truth: no sin is so large it cannot fit on the cross of Christ. Despite how vile or low down, all wrongdoing, once confessed, finds room on the cross. Discrimination of any sort cannot exist at Calvary. Though we try to partition big sins off to one side of the cross, typically the evils of others, to distinguish them from lesser sins, usually ours, that concept is utterly egregious to God.
“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” – Col. 2:13-14

Having emphasized that point, when it comes to the particular sin I’m alluding to, men may broadly broach the subject, like voicing a political opinion on the matter. However, they seldom speak in specifics and never on an individual basis…as in “let me tell you what I’ve done.” The heartbeat of the issue is avoided at all costs. It’s a topic that carries a “weightiness” unlike anything else. Men were hard-wired to be protectors. This act, therefore, defies our very nature. That truth is too painful to admit out loud.
Don’t misunderstand; men will come clean on all sorts of wrongs committed more readily than some may think. Verbal confession for us brings healing. Suppose one man admits his sins to another. If only momentarily, freedom is felt, maybe for the first time in years or even a lifetime. The heavy load previously borne alone lifts, hoisted up just high enough to place half of the burden on the shoulders of another brother. Soul-cleansing occurs, purifying like good medicine. No truer words could be spoken: “a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”  

Moreover, it’s the exact point at which two brothers, not one, prevail. To “prevail” in GracoRoman times implied “entering the fray to engage the resistance together!” That imagery is likely what James had in mind when he wrote the following:

“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail.” – James 5:1
And yet, despite all the benefits of confessing sins one to another, abortion from a man’s past stays off the table. It’s come up in conversation three times in 25 years of ministry. That’s only three times in 25 years! Add to the fact that I’ve stated my past publicly regarding abortion to make myself approachable. And yet, men don’t reciprocate. If there’s no message in that, I don’t know what is.
So why bring this up now? I’ll share 5 good reasons for doing so at present:

# 1 – With the overturning of Roe, it’s a must-have conversation, especially for families. I cannot emphasize this enough: make this a topic of discussion tonight. Start by asking, “why don’t men speak personally about this subject?” Better to talk it through it hypothetically now than in real-time later.  
# 2 – God has a reason for everything He does. When He openly commanded, “Confess! Your sins one to another,” He did so with your best interests in view. Healing, it appears, can be connected with speaking. Go ahead and seek someone out to get this off your chest.
# 3 – Partitioning off sections of the cross for darker sins seems a likely culprit for men’s silence on this subject, maybe women too. If so, visuals have a profound ability to drive home spiritual truths. If it helps, slip out to be alone. Take a notecard, pen, hammer, nails, and two pieces of wood for a makeshift cross. Write down whatever you like; I only suggest you be specific. When I was a teenager, my letter began with, “Dear God, I am so terribly sorry for……..” Finish by asking Jesus to forgive you.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Is. 1:18
# 4 – On the inside of your palm, scribble “13.” It will remind you of the 13 sweetest words of release in all creation: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

# 5 – Re-read the story about the woman caught in adultery (Jn. 8:1-11). I cannot fathom how humiliating it must have been to have her sins brought to bear for the world to see? And yet, the first step towards healing occurs when something dark is brought into the light. From what I can gather, this lady was the first in all creation to hear the Savior say, “neither do I condemn you…Go and sin no more.” What’s strangely overlooked in that account is, “what about the man?” The answer of which we’ll never know. But if this blog only draws one soul like his out of the shadows to find healing, it’ll all be worth it. As Jesus said, “for those who have ears to hear, let them hear.”


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