Confessing and saying “I’m sorry” can be two of the most difficult things we have to do, at some point in our lives. The former is especially difficult if the confession you are going to make is about your transgressions against a fellow human being. The more offensive the fault we committed, the harder it is for us to confess. So why confess?
At its core confession is simply the act of acknowledging something to be so. It is not necessarily negative in understanding. If, for example, I confess Jesus Christ as LORD, I have not committed a sin or negative act. I have, in fact, done the exact opposite. I have done something positive and worthwhile. I have simply acknowledged that Jesus is, in reality, LORD.
Acknowledgment of our sins and wrongdoings is a lot harder. The first step is to admit or acknowledge that we have sinned and what we did was against the laws of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ. By admitting our sinfulness, we become more self-aware and prepared to abandon our sins: in thoughts, words and deeds.
Confession also takes the burden and heavy load off from our chests. The more we keep our sins and wrongdoings to ourselves, the heavier the emotional load we carry because of guilt, shame, embarrassment and self-loathing. Although we can’t help but worry about how the people to whom we confess may react God is always there for us, and He is willing to listen no matter how long or how heavy our confessions may be.
Confession is also one of the initial steps of repentance. If we do not acknowledge and confess our sinfulness, we may not be able to turn away from sinning again. The burden of peer pressure shifts from silence and hiding, to support and accountability.
By confessing, we are also granted relief and forgiveness by God. We are given a chance to start over and do better the next time. Consider a few significant passages from the Bible regarding confession.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16 KJV. Here, the Bible teaches us that confessing our sins is healing. Indeed. You are not only physically, mentally and emotionally healed from confessing, but most importantly, you are also spiritually healed. God’s spiritual healing comes from His forgiveness and mercy.
Here is a second Bible reading from 1 John 1:9 RSV: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This second reading teaches us that with confession comes purification. Again, this kind of purification is not limited to the physical, mental and emotional aspects, but the spiritual aspect most importantly.
If we are to reestablish our relationship with God, we must confess first our sins so that we may be healed and purified. As taught in Acts 3:19 NLT. “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” Truly, God is just, righteous and forgiving, worthy of everlasting praise!