Confession

Everyday with God

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
I’m not sure if you are like me, but sometimes confessing my sin can be really hard. It can be painful to acknowledge you’ve done that thing you didn’t think you would do. It can be frustrating to let someone down, and you can feel sad you’ve sinned against God. There are often some challenging feelings and emotions that can come along with confession, but at the same time there are also many benefits.
 
One of the first benefits of confession is that it brings healing. Confession is a bridge of reconciliation between you and God, as well as you and other people. Check out God’s response if his people would just turn to him and confess - 'For this people’s hearts has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' (Matthew 13:15) These are Jesus’ words as he is speaking to the disciples, and is the fulfillment of God’s promise in Isaiah 6. God brings healing to his people, and that’s a promise.
 
Sometimes confession among friends can be a little trickier, because we don’t know how a person will receive our confession and seeking of forgiveness. Yet the reconciliation part isn’t always up to us. As long as we are making an attempt to heal the relationship, that is what God desires. Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks to this in his book, Life Together, addressing this issue of community and confession. He states, 'Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him.' Yet when we confess our sin against someone else, it tears town the barriers that can isolate us, which makes it harder for the enemy to attack us.
 
The second benefit to confession is that it leads to humility. Bonhoeffer continues, 'Confession in the presence of a brother is the profoundest kind of humiliation. It hurts, it cuts a man down, it is a dreadful blow to pride. To stand there before a brother as a sinner is an ignominy (public shame or disgrace) that is almost unbearable.' No matter how you slice it, humility is attractive to people. Pride pushes people away, but humility has the power to draw friends back together. Yet it’s not just a benefit for our earthly friendships, humility is essential for a growing relationship with Christ. Humility helps produce this idea of poverty of spirit, which is important because Jesus himself said 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'
 
Is there something you need to confess today? First approach God with your confession and find his endless grace waiting there for you. And then as a response to that grace, be the beginning of the bridge that can help reconcile a relationship that needs to be mended. In your confession, you will be blessed to find healing there for you, as well as a healthy dose of humility.
 
Questions for reflection:

+ Is there something that you need to confess to God
+ Do you have a relationship that needs to be reconciled? Think through a way to move toward  that individual and confess your sin.
Jay Quick | Student Ministries Director

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