Written by Pastor Scott Godinez,
Have you ever found yourself in disobedience to God, asked him to forgive you and then went on with your life? Many Christians are missing out on the unique spiritual growth that comes from the practice of confessing our sins not only to God, but also to one another.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16
The practice of confessing our sin not just to God but also to a trusted, mature Christian friend is invaluable. Yes it may feel uncomfortable, but there should never be anything “comfortable” about sin.
When we choose to downplay the severity of our sin, or even worse, keep it secret, we invite significant danger into our relationship with God, our family, and our identity in Christ. This is why we must keep verses like 1 John 1:9 close to our heart:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
When we try to live with sin and with Jesus it just does not work. The two are as compatible as oil and water, and worse, you will inevitably learn to love one and hate the other (Matthew 6:24).
Our relationship with Jesus demands that we walk in the light as He is in the light. Confession of sin makes this possible. But the moment you try to justify or allow sin to linger in your life, you “lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6). You cannot be in fellowship with Jesus and in league with the same sin he died to save you from.
“If Christ has died for me, I cannot trifle with the evil that killed my best Friend.”Charles Spurgeon
When we do not confess our sin, but instead excuse it because “no one is perfect” or “it’s not a big deal” we are in effect content with our sin. The psalmist warns us,
“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;” Psalm 66:18
Through confession we can be cleansed by God’s forgiveness and instead of not being heard, we find ourselves as vessels for honorable use (2 Timothy 2:21). And let it be confession to God in the presence of a mature Christian!
Let them pray for you and be accountable to them. We tend to self-medicate with God’s grace and miss the opportunity to fully comprehend the weight of our personal sin. In my experience, I tend to be biased in how I confess my sin to God on my own. But when I’m speaking about it while face-to-face with another Christian who loves me and wants to pray for me, the foolishness, and ugliness of sin is made much more real to me.
We need this lesson to humble us, to remind us that our heart is deceitful and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9) and apart from God we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Do not think you are cunning enough, or prepared to handle the consequences of sin. How long can a man scoop fire into his lap before he is burned? (Proverbs 6:27). Or have you not read,
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 28:13
Dear Christian, there are two roads before you. One beckons you to drift away from God and into destruction. The other, invites you into the mercy of God!
The height of your sin is no match for the depth of God’s grace. His capacity to forgive is entirely inexhaustible and his mercy awaits you for eternity. That is the heart of our God!
My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you any area of your life that has protected sin from the light of Jesus and you will confess it to God and to a spiritually mature friend or pastor and you will find healing!
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32:3-5