My nose started to itch. I was sitting in the middle of a church pew. All of us in the church building bowed our heads as the pastor began to lead us in a prayer of confession.
Before he began to pray, a random thought popped into my mind. Inside my head I could hear some little old lady somewhere saying that my nose was itching because company was coming. So I spiritualized this random thought into something like this, “I’m preparing to pray, specifically to confess my sin. God must be about to show up. He’s the invited company.”
I eagerly bowed my head. I was ready to confess so that God would show up. I felt a little bit like a child who readily hops off to bed on Christmas Eve so that Santa can come down the chimney.
Then right before the pastor began his public prayer of confession, another seemingly random thought popped into my very busy brain. What if the itching of my nose was more like the Fox show Lie to Me? Would a skilled criminal profiler spot my itching nose as a tell-tell sign that I was lying?
What? Perhaps I really was not being honest with God about my sin. I am pretty sure that I was not viewing my sin with the weight with which God was viewing it. In fact, to confess to God literally means to say the same thing as God says. I know what God has to say about my sin. The problem is that far too often I am not saying the same thing He is.
I often give myself some sort of rationalization. Or more often, I am simply silent about my sin. Neither of these options fits with what confession is supposed to be.
So, did my nose itch because God was about to show up? Or did it itch because I was lying in my prayer of confession. Perhaps your nose has not been itching. But are you confessing your sin by agreeing with God that your sin is ugly and ungodly? Are you telling the truth? Do you have a place set for the Lord to visit deep inside your life?