Psalm 32:5 reads, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.” Confession not only releases us from our sin, but also forgives the guilt and shame associated with that sin.
The Bible teaches that confession of sins is not just something we do with God, but it's something that we should do with one another. James 5:16 says, “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.” Healing and wholeness come with confession. Oftentimes, confession means being honest with someone about an area of your life that they wouldn't otherwise know anything about.
The healing that James talks about is probably more literal than you might think. It's not strictly a metaphor. According to psychology, people who keep secrets rather than practicing confession have more physical and mental complaints, greater anxiety, greater depression, and are more likely to have back pain and headaches. In fact, the initial embarrassment of confessing is frequently outweighed by the relief that comes from confessing.
There was a time when the church talked a lot about confessing sin, as it was an important practice of the early Christians. Now, the world even recognizes and says it's important that you live authentically in this way. We don't talk about it as much because we're often so focused on the stage, the performance, and what people think. So, examining your life consider if is voluntary confession a regular part of your spiritual journey?
Reflection/Discussion Question: Is there guilt in your life that you need to let go of because you have already been forgiven of your sin?