Brilliant: When Confession Breeds More Confession


When we watercolor, which we don’t do as much as we should, the dip of the brush into the color and then into the water doesn’t dirty the drink, it makes it brilliant.

It’s easy to see how one small molecule of color can pigment the whole thing. It bleeds and breeds more of itself, it seems, until the whole cup is blushed blue or red with the single plunge of the paintbrush.

The same is true of honesty. Confession and honesty breeds more confession and honesty, I believe. It dyes the world around it a more brilliant shade of true.

I stood at the car window of a friend a couple weeks ago after I’d written the post (that one broke me open) about my marriage. She’s one of my closest friends and I hadn’t ever been able to find the right words to talk about it with her until after I’d written that post.

“So talk to me,” or something like that she said. “What’s going on?” I knew it was safe to talk to her because she loved me and I’d already been brutally honest and vulnerable that day. Honesty breeds more honesty.

So I did. And I think she still loves me. Loves my family. I’m pretty sure she still sees me the same. Good friends do that: love us during the easy and through the hard. And vulnerability breeds more vulnerability.

I spent several phone calls that week with close girl friends with whom I’d never before been able to share this ugly part of my life. And it was so so good. I’m learning that when a breakthrough happens, it’s easy to then break through more barriers in other areas of my lifeOpenness comes easier. The words come out without the same filters as I’d been placing on them before and it gives, not just my internet community, but my dearest friends the ability to walk with me in an even more intimate way.

When we are honest with ourselves and honest to others, it makes the world around us a more honest place. We inspire others to do things honestly and maybe even we ourselves can be more open with the people that matter the most.

I’m not hoping for greatness today, but I am hoping to stain the world around me today with a little more honesty and a little more vulnerability. And honesty can only make us shine more brilliantly.



  1. says

    “Confession and honesty breeds more confession and honesty”
    I like that. It’s an appetite that we at first resist, but once we experience being REALLY known, it’s addicting, and others feel safe to be vulnerable because we aren’t hiding behind the masks anymore. They know it’s safe to be broken. Safe to be human.
    Love it!

  2. says

    I am so excited for the break through that is happening in your life.
    I hesitate to share with close friends because I assume they don’t want to see the messy. I want to believe it when they say..”.but you are so organized, you always have it all together.” I know that is not true. It’s necessary to be vulnerable to connect with friends in an intimate way so that you can truly walk together.
    Thanks for sharing and encouraging each of to be open with one another

  3. says

    thank you. i needed to be reminded of that today. i shared some very honest things with my small group last night and left deflated and sad. today, i’m hoping that someone in the group was touched enough to feel they can share their sufferings as well.

  4. Sean Patrick says

    Thank you, for your transparency. The world would be a far better place, and relationships so much more real & abounding in joy, if more of us lived that way.

  5. Heidi Stephen says

    I am loving what this breakthrough of honesty in your heart and writing and life is yielding. Such fruitful posts and sustaining encouragement for those who read (for ME!!) yes- to be loved after the ugly parts are known- that is my favorite. That is true friendship and the best safe feeling. It takes bravery to walk out into that unknown place and share- despite consequences (because results aren’t always loving) but then we who walk forward in honesty are free and can lead others to that freedom! I want so much to lead others around me to that freedom of honesty and so it starts with me, personally, living it out. What encouragement you have been in this Sarah!

  6. Mark Allman says

    It hurts to confess perceived weakness and flaws and at the same time it frees us the burden of being that which we are not.

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