Admitting that we've done something wrong isn't always easy or smooth sailing. Depending on how significant the deed is and how long we've taken to reach the point of confession, coming clean can seem like the hardest thing. Even once we make the decision to own up to our wrongs, the path to doing so can be rocky and sometimes make us wonder whether things would have been better if we'd just kept quiet.
The answer to reducing the agonising aspects of confessing sin is not to give it a miss, but rather to give sin a wide birth. If you don't think you're up to acknowledging you were wrong and saying you're sorry, here are five things to motivate you.
If you don't think you're up to acknowledging you were wrong and saying you're sorry, here are five reasons to motivate you.
We're called to confess
"Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy." – Proverbs 28:13
Many of us will be able to relate to how we've attempted to achieve certain goals while hiding sin and had it prevent us from reaching them. This is what the verse above is about. Whether our goals are to grow closer to God, our spouses or to accomplish something in our professional lives, unaddressed sin will always get in the way. What this verse also reminds us is that at the end of our confession something glorious awaits us – mercy. We're not called to confess simply because God wants to reprimand us but so that He can wrap us in His love. And it's that love that will make us think twice about concealing our sin the next time around.
It enables us to move on
It's a mistake to think that if we ignore our own wrongdoing that we've already moved on. True confession means that we have to acknowledge what we've done wrong, why we did it and how it has hurt us and those around us. By doing this, we can make a genuine effort to move forward and stand against sin because we know the triggers and the consequences and can act in future to avoid both.
It challenges us to be honest
Our confessions are great acts of honesty, not just with those who we've hurt but with ourselves and God. Until we make a specific admission in relation to our sins, we're in denial about the reality of our sinful behaviour. This denial can poison all other aspects of our lives, both physical and spiritual, and all of our interactions with others.
It frees us
Some people can think of the act as owning up to their wrongs as soul-destroying, and figure that they're free "escaping" their past. As Christians, we know that that feeling of having "escaped" confronting and confessing your mistakes is not freedom, and that being honest about our mistakes gives us access to life. After all, Jesus came so that we could have life in its fullest form and he died so that we could be free from the death sentence of sin. Real freedom comes when we face up to what we've done wrong and repent as it removes the shadow of sin from our lives.
Although it comes after the sin has been carried out, confession can also work well as a method for prevention. It might seem strange to talk about confession in such terms but it really can help us to sin less in future. The price paid for our sins wasn't cheap and we're reminded of this each time we admit that we fail. Remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made so that we could be free from sin is on its own enough motivation to actively avoid it in future.