The power of confession.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)
I remember as a kid getting a small cut of some kind and immediately knowing my Mom was going to want to clean the cut. I dreaded the cleaning. It was the searing pain I would feel as the cut would bubble out all the dirt and germs. I would rather it get infected and my finger fall off than go through that. But you know Moms, they have that sixth sense. They always know.
I would struggle anticipating the worst pain, but in the end, I would have a band-aid and a kiss. Everything was better. And it was never as bad as I was afraid it would be.
Jesus reminds us that sin is a condition that must be healed. We can’t heal ourselves but He is the Great Physician treating us for complete healing. Yet sin is like the cut absorbing the outside environment that will lead to infection and more pain. And we must let our Heavenly Father cleanse it so that it can heal. And cleansing comes through confession.
The evangelical stream of Christianity in an attempt to separate itself from the Catholic church has never embraced the sacrament of confession. There is a spiritual effect of cleansing we are missing without confession. To confess our sin is the same as letting Mom clean out the wound. All sin comes from the original wound in Eden but the infection has spread to each individual creating excruciating pain. But we do have the Heavenly Balm of Jesus. He will make us clean.
Naming our sin before God in prayer gives permission to the Spirit to breathe forgiveness into our soul. We will immediately feel the touch of God loving us in an unexpected way. He binds us our wounds and draws near to us tenderly for healing. We expect harsh judgment, not a gentle touch. But He is soft in rebuke, easy in discipline. When we confess to Him, it’s never as bad as we thought it would be.
This is His character. It is who He is. We can trust Him to be faithful to His own character. Never will we be surprised by sudden anger or stinging wrath. His forgiveness for all sin was settled on that cross at Calvary. We have nothing to fear. God cleanses our guilt and shame as we confess our sins to Him.
Prayer: Lord, teach me the practice of confession, naming my sin before You, that I might not store up guilt and shame. Amen.