We fabricate elaborate but thin shields from confession, like a lace coat that offers no real protection and that everyone can see through anyway. One of the most popular patterns is recrimination, accusing the other person of what the other person accused us of. It’s counteraccusation. It’s criminate and then sending the criminate back across the net. It’s the old “I’m rubber, you’re worse.” It’s the “I know I have a log in my eye, but what about your speck?”
Recrimination is ugly business and, even though countercharging doesn’t make sin disappear, it at least leads to weeks or months in the appeals system before a verdict is made. Who knows, maybe the initial allegation will even get dropped because, really, who has the time and resources to endure the litigation?
But it can be a form of false witness (Exodus 20:16), a false accusation, which is a lie, and something that sows discord among brothers (Proverbs 6:19), sin upon sin. But also, maybe you are right; the other person might actually be guilty of what they’re accusing us of. Perhaps that’s why they can see our sin so accurately; they know exactly what they’re looking at. The question we must ask is: Am I sinning?
Blowing smoke in the face of others doesn’t put out the fire. There are all sorts of ways we can distance ourselves from and argue ourselves out of confession. As we do so, we also distance ourselves from forgiveness and fellowship with Christ and with each other.