Today’s Scripture: He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13
Can I be honest? Confessing a sin to God is easy. Confessing a sin to anyone else is hard. Yet, there are times when it is both necessary and proper to confess a sin or a fault to someone else. Matthew 5:23-24 lays out one such instance. It shows us that our worship of God will be affected if there is an offense or problem with someone else. God expects us to reconcile with an offended brother before we come to worship Him. Reconciliation often requires us to confess that we have done something wrong or improper that harmed another believer.
Some physical and spiritual ailments are the result of unconfessed sin (James 5:16). If there’s a secret sin in our life that we can’t get victory over, it may be because we haven’t properly confessed the sin to a church elder or pastor. Refusing to confess a sin to a man won’t keep a person out of Heaven, nor does confessing to a man hold any power to get a person into Heaven. A hidden sin will continue to cause damage to our relationship with God and our relationship to other believers until it is brought into the open. We confess to repair those relationships, not to keep or earn salvation.
Why is it so hard to confess a sin to someone else? There are many reasons, but two of the large ones are fear and pride. We are afraid to confess a sin because we don’t know how others will react to our admission of guilt. We fear that others will be angry or ashamed of us. Our pride will often hold us back because we don’t want other people to think less of us. Confessing a sin means admitting that we are less worthy of respect, and we all like to be thought of highly.
As painful as the loss of respect or the possibility of rejection may be, it pales in comparison to the hurt and frustration a hidden sin causes. The longer a sin remains hidden, the more grief and agony it will cause on a day-by-day basis. Bringing a sin into the open may cause some temporary pain, but the confession will clear the guilt and set the stage for healing and recovery so that the grief and frustration are gone forever. Isn’t a life of peace and freedom worth some momentary discomfort?
It’s a well-worn saying, but it’s true that confession is good for the soul. Perhaps you’ve wronged someone else and been afraid to own up to it. Perhaps you’ve been engaged in a hidden addiction and no matter how hard you pray, you can’t escape the guilt, conviction or power of sin. The only way out is to confess the sin to the individual or church elder. Make things right today; then your relationship with God and other people will be what it is supposed to be.
Devotional by Pastor C.J Armstrong