An elder I worked with for several years would greet those who responded to the invitation. Sundays and Wednesdays we always offer am invitation, without fail. It is often difficult for people to respond, but when they do we always take a special interest in whatever is on their heart. This particular elder would often ask the respondents, “Can you name your demon?” I thought that to be quite odd and almost insulting. Are they responding for prayer, baptism or repentance? We rarely got past that one statement. The person was usually shocked, but this elder would take them to the front row and discuss the problem further.
The practice of “naming your demon” was foreign to me. After all, I’ve been raised in the church of Christ and we strategically avoid conversations about miracles and supernatural activity. We know any discussion on that subject should be done with an open Bible and a heart focused on rightly dividing it. However, the elder had an interesting point. We need you name our problem. We need to confess the issue. We need to name our demons.
We struggle and get frustrated with the trials were facing, but we never want to look them straight in the eye. We refuse to call them by name. Confession? Forget about it. Denial? Not my problem. We often blame others rather than looking in the mirror. It’s easier that way, isn’t it? My prayers are often for everyone else to change around me, but what I really need to do is change myself. Ever felt that way?
Listen to what David says in Psalm 32:1-5: “Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned. Happy is the person whom the Lord does not consider guilty and in whom there is nothing false. When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long. Day and night you punished me. My strength was gone as in the summer heat. Then I confessed my sins to you and didn’t hide my guilt. I said, ‘I will confess my sins to the Lord,’ and you forgave my guilt.”
I never really noticed until recently how those verses start off talking about how you can receive happiness and forgiveness, but then David starts talking about himself. It is personal when he says what “I” kept, what “I” felt, that “I” moaned, “I” confessed, etc.
David realized that it is impossible to help others unless you’re willing to help yourself. He understood that the forgiveness he was seeking was inside his own soul. Don’t let guilt overwhelm you. Don’t be naïve to think that you are perfect or that no false things have ever come from your mouth.
Talk to Jesus. Name your demons. Confess your sin. Forgive yourself. Let go of your guilt. And start off new… today.
You are loved.