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Do You Tell on Yourself?

tellingA tattletale is defined by Merriam-Webster online dictionary as,

…a child who tells a parent, teacher, etc., about something bad or wrong that another child has done : a child who tattles on another child.

When we were kids we used to tease the ones who tattled with “Tattletale, tattletale; hanging on a bull’s tail” in that great sing-songy playground way. It never occurred to me how utterly (or should I say udderly) ridiculous this taunt was.

You learn early on that people who tattle or tell on others are no good, but sadly, you and I probably take that broad stroke and paint it right over our own lives as well. It’s uncomfortable. It can be painful, but you need to tell on yourself.

The power of sin is broken simply in telling. –The Cure

I know there aren’t many words in that sentence, but it is profoundly powerful.

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. –Romans 6:5-7

Sin is completely defeated by the blood of Jesus. We are no longer slaves to its power, but that doesn’t mean it won’t try to gain a hold in us. When I won’t learn or be faithful to confess and be transparent with others, I’m exerting my own life and independence. I’m giving place to the sin I despise, the sin I died to in Christ.

Learn to confess the sin I intend to commit rather than confessing the sin I’ve carried out, with all the consequences it brings. This is living in the light. My identity in Christ allows me to see the truth without having to hide in fear that failure will define me or confirm I’m not enough… I am “Christ in me” on my worst day, in my worst thought, during my worst temptation. So, I learn to tell on myself, both to God and to others. I experience the truth that living in holiness is living with nothing hidden. Then I am clean; I am free; I am healing. We are able to give our lives away when we are no longer preoccupied with failure. –The Cure

I’ve been good in the past about confessing what I’ve done, but to take it to this next level–telling on myself before anything happens–is what I’m working on. It makes sense. Owning up to what I’m feeling or patterns of behavior weakens them. Having confessed to God and someone else, having that support and prayer, is huge.

I love these words, “living in holiness is living with nothing hidden.” Holy means set apart and not like anything else. The way of the world is hiddenness.  Both sin and the enemy thrive in darkness. Holiness is in the light.

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. –1 John 1:5-7

How about you? Are you good about confessing and telling on yourself? Have you ever considered or practiced telling on yourself before you take action?


cure2Welcome to week 2 of Chapter 4 discussion of The Cure (disclosure) by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Once again, we’ll be taking 2 weeks per chapter as these are dense and thought-provoking words. If you have a response on your blog, add the link to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts.

Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

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12 Comments

  1. I missed last week and then this week I went off on a tangent although I think the topic of this chapter is something we all need to understand.

    We talk about relying on God but then we attempt to overcome our temptations without Him. I’m as guilty as anyone. I need to tell on myself before I try to deal with the temptation and let God handle what could make me fall.

    • It’s such a simple thing, but it can be so difficult! Even in this, if we are to live this out, it will take His amazing grace. I don’t think we can truly live this without this healing. We’ve all been too hurt and rejected. Thank you, Dusty.

  2. There was a time I used to fear telling on myself. I always feared the consequences. I can’t say I still don’t, but the more I go on, the heavier the burden I carry becomes. I’ve been learning to let go and let the consequences come just so I don’t walk around with the guilt.

    • Great point, Ed. We don’t always recognize what we carry affects us so profoundly. It’s hard to let go, but it’s even harder to keep carrying it. There are consequences to that as well. Thanks Ed.

  3. Hi Jason, I added my link before I realized I not reading the book with all of you. I’m sorry. I am enjoying your chapter reviews. This chapter reminded me a moment in my teens when on a double date with a guy I really like, the group insisted on going to eat somewhere my parent’s had told me I wasn’t allowed to go to. I decided to tell my parents as soon as I got home. They suggested we all sleep on it, and in the morning not only didn’t give me any consequence (which I totally expected) but they changed the rule going forward. It was a life lesson in a good way.
    Deb Wolf recently posted..How to Walk Away from NegativityMy Profile

    • Deb, it’s no problem! Grace to you. 🙂 Interesting story--I wonder why they had the rule to begin with? That’s where my mind goes! Thanks Deb.

  4. Wow, pretty powerful and convicting. It’s hard enough to own up so sins I’ve committed, let alone to tell on myself for my temptations/evil thoughts.
    I’ll be mulling this over and praying. I know I can’t do it in my own power.

    • I think telling on ourselves is sort of like letting the air out of the tires before you try to drive off. If I sit there revving the engine, eventually I’m going to take it out for a spin! Certainly can’t find this sort of strength in our natural selves. It’s got to be in Him. Thank you, TC. Blessings to you!

  5. You know, I really don’t have trouble telling on myself if I believe that the person I’m telling really loves me. For example, I often tell on myself to my Chinese medicine practitioner. Yes, I know it’s weird. But he’s been my primary care provider for almost two years. We’re more than friends — almost family — now. And so I know that he needs to know the whole truth to help me. If I hide from him something that I’ve eaten, a medicine I’ve taken, or anything else, he can’t treat me properly. And honestly, I know that he truly cares about me. He’s invested the time to prove it. Same with God. I may have trouble admitting my problems and weaknesses and sins to you or my pastor or my co-workers. But I usually don’t fear telling them to God. He knows already. My biggest weakness in that area is not listening to what He tells me after I tattle on myself. I usually just assume that I know what He’s saying, plug my ears, and keep walking with my head down…
    Sarah Salter recently posted..Letting Go of the ToolboxMy Profile

    • God is certainly the most important part of that equation. So important to listen to Him too! It’s also become increasingly important for me to open up to others and receive the love I don’t always feel I deserve. It’s sort of the reverse of if you say you love God and hate your brother you aren’t telling the truth. If I say I trust God with my “secrets” but don’t trust those He’s put in my life, there’s something off. Thanks so much, Sarah.

  6. I took sum money from my friend account… and it’s been really getting to me.I want to tell him but don’t how,I have ask for GOD forgiveness. I really needed it at the time, but I’m gone pay it back just don’t no how to tell him

    • Hard thing for sure. Hoping you can be honest and work out a plan to pay it back and seek that forgiveness. It definitely eats at us when we don’t own up to our mistakes. Praying wisdom and clarity to you. Thanks for sharing.

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