Since Jesus is my ‘High Priest’ I never really thought about the need to confess my sins to others, except in cases where I wronged someone.
Confession takes humility and trust. Do you have people of integrity in your life you can trust enough to bare your soul? My Pastor often talks about the need to have 4 or more Christian friends in your life.
If you’ve ever had a confidence betrayed, trust may not come easy for you. I understand. God does too. He doesn’t ask us to confess our sins to each other to shame us. So why does He advise us to do this? For our healing. When we confess our sins to Jesus we are forgiven. Our confession to others has nothing to do with forgiveness, unless of course we are asking someone to forgive us for a sin against them. I remember many times as a teen going to my Dad to tell him I had disobeyed him. It wasn’t because I was afraid he would find out; it was because the guilt I felt was worse than my fear of punishment.
Guilt and shame are a heavy burden to bare alone. God knows how therapeutic it is to share our faults with one another, in an environment of trust. I wonder how many therapists would still be in business if we took James 5:16 to heart. (Not that there is anything wrong with seeing a therapist.)
This scripture also confirms the power of agreement in prayer. “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” -Matthew 18:18-20 (NKJV) If you are struggling with a particular sin you just can’t seem to overcome, it may be time to call in reinforcements. You do not have to suffer alone.
Another benefit of confession is accountability. When we share our sins with others we make ourselves accountable to them. We are not only asking for prayer support, but in essence we are giving them permission to follow up with us, to make sure we are walking in victory.
Additionally, God wants to use your story to impact others. Revelation 12:11 tells us, “They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony.” Your story is powerful! If you allow shame to keep you silent you miss the opportunity to help others. I know from experience the joy of seeing someone moved by the transparency of sharing my testimony. Others need hope that they too can overcome.
In closing, the power of confession brings healing, deliverance, accountability and influence. Find a trustworthy brother or sister in Christ and begin to build the kind of relationship that fosters authenticity. And remember, to have a friend, you have to be a friend.