Being real on campus and confessions of a sinner
"Hi. I'm Kevin, and I am a sinner."
As I walk back to Hope Hall from AfterDark chapel on Oct. 24, I am thinking of one specific thing: how I can help Biola? Biola has quickly become home to me, a place of loving friendships and caring mentors. The students here at Biola University have become my family and I care for this family deeply. I want to help Biola, but first I need to find what is wrong with Biola.
On Oct. 24, senior Jeff Clark spoke about whether or not Biola is a safe community for people to share their struggles, sins and scars. The truth is that Biola being a place of honest struggle depends on us as students. It is not up to the faculty to create such an environment, it is the honesty of students that will create a community of trust and accountability on our campus. When we sin, the devil tells us that we need to go hide in our shame, but the Lord tells us something very different. In Proverbs 28:13 the Lord says, "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy." God has called us to confess our sins to one another, and from that healing and mercy will come.
I experienced this firsthand about a year ago. My girlfriend and I had broken up after being together for about two and a half years. After about two months of being apart, we felt God calling us back together, but before that I needed to confess something to her. I had to tell her that I had been hiding an addiction to pornography that stretched far before the years I knew her. It was the hardest thing that I have done in my life. I confessed to her, with shaking hands, what I had been holding back for so long. After I finished forcing the words out of my mouth, she grabbed my quivering hands, looked me in the eye and said, "What did you think I was going to do? Leave you? Kevin, I still love you!"
In that moment there were two loves that I understood more fully: hers and God’s. When we stumble again, and again, and again, without confessing to God, and then with tears falling and body shaking we finally come clean to the God who created us, he looks right back into our eyes and says, "What did you think I was going to do? Leave you? My child, I still love you!" It was not until that night though that I was able to fully comprehend the love that my creator had for me. The love that compelled him to send his Son to die on a cross for me.
I felt that night that the best way to help Biola was to be the example, so when I got back from AfterDark, I borrowed a pen and wrote on my white board outside of my room: "I am a sinner. I sin every day. Each day I struggle with lust, judgment, and coveting. To get past our sin we must be open and honest, this is me starting."
I now challenge you, Biola, to stop wearing masks. The facades that we put up are getting us nowhere. It is time to change the culture of Biola and come out with the trash that we have been building up inside our lives, and to stop pretending like we are the only ones struggling. What if we became a campus that was real with one another? We could become a community where nobody has the need to be fake or showy, but instead one where we feel compelled to show our true selves, struggles and all. Out of this would flow a deeper understanding of the grace, love, and redemption that has been given to us through Christ Jesus our Lord.