How often do you genuinely and repentantly confess your sins?
Confession is a huge part of the Christian life, and it is critically important to a healthy life. It impacts our emotions, our mental health, our relationships, our pride, our accurate understanding of ourselves, and our spiritual life with Christ.
But confession is hard.
I can’t imagine that this statement surprises you. Confession is hard. Confession pricks our pride, crushes our idols, and raises feelings of discomfort, guilt, frustration, or even anger. In these ways, it does not feel good.
Yet we cannot live our lives based on how we feel. I might not feel like getting up at 6am to get ready for work… but it is important that I do it anyway. We might not feel like asking for forgiveness when we’ve wronged our spouse… but it is important that we do it anyway.
While confession is hard, it is also incredibly powerful. The power does not come in our perfect words or in the intensity of our emotions. The power comes from the Holy Spirit himself. In fact, it is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin, pointing us toward confession.
What does confession accomplish that is so helpful?
- Confession re-aligns our understanding of ourselves (sinners in need of God’s grace) and of God (the grace Giver).
- Confession clearly labels our wrong way of thinking/speaking/behaving and identifies the positive alternative. Specificity is helpful.
- Confession asks for and invites forgiveness. And God is always faithful to forgive (1 John 1:9).
- Confession lifts the burden of sin and shame from our shoulders. We do not need to continue to feel guilty, sneaky, or weighed down.
- Confession puts our relationships back in right order – with God, and with each other.
It is impossible to be right with God without regular, sincere confession. And it is impossible to be truly intimate with people in our lives – spouses, children, friends – without acknowledging when we hurt them, confessing that as wrong, and asking for forgiveness.
Of course, confession is only meaningful if we turn away from that wrong, hurtful, sinful action and turn toward good, positive, helpful actions instead.
Confess the sin, seek forgiveness, and follow the way of Jesus.
You’ll not only feel better, you’ll be better.