When we think of confessions, often times an image of a police station and detectives taking turns playing, “good cop, bad cop,” comes to mind. The thought of clearing our minds and hearts of our sins seems almost unreal. Should we confess to our preacher? Should we confess to the person whom our sin was committed against? If we think that confession is as simple as that, we are missing the point.
Clearing the air is a good thing to do. If we have sinned against someone, apologizing to them is a starting point, a step in the right direction; alas, an apology is not a confession. To truly clear ourselves of our sin, as hard as it may be, we need to ask our Heavenly Father for forgiveness. Doing so requires confession through prayer.
Lord, I have sinned. When we utter those words, we shudder at the thought of telling God what we have done. We are afraid of falling from His grace; of desolation and despair. Yet, when we do not confess, that is exactly what we are doing.
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10 (KJV)
By not confessing our sins, or by saying that we have not sinned, we are not allowing the word nor the truth of God to enter our hearts. That is the meaning of the preceding passage.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16 (NIV)
To confess our sins has a powerful healing effect on both the mind and the body. When we do not walk with the guilt of our sins haunting our hearts and minds, we are truly free. However, it is not the confession of sins to one another that truly heals us.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)
Therefore, we should confess unto God our sins.
I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
Psalm 41:4 (NIV)