People confess stuff to me. Often what people confess to me has nothing to do with me at all but for some reason people seem to feel comforted by confessing their transgressions to me. Perhaps people confuse my role as a Christian pastor with that of a Catholic Priest. When people confess their sins to me I am always quick to remind them that the business of forgiveness belongs to God alone. Confessing to me does not grant forgiveness. That work was completed on the cross by Jesus Christ. While I do think there have been a few over the years who have this concept confused, I think by and large the old Scottish proverb that says, "Confession is good for the soul" is in play.
People just feel better when they get things off their chest. The Bible certainly reinforces this idea. Check Psalm 32:1-2 on Bible Gateway.
"Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!"
Words cannot express the joy that can be experienced by those who choose to confess their sins.
Confession beats fear. Unconfessed sin forces our minds to wonder, "What's going to happen?", "How long can I hide this?" and "How will this affect...?" When we confess we banish those fears and questions. We are no longer fearful of the unknown. Confession allows us to take back control of our lives from the fear that controls us before we confess. We no longer have to wonder what's going to happen. We no longer have to fear how our relationships will be affected.
Confession brings simplicity. How often do we live our lives in the hectic pace of covering our tracks. Dishonesty and lack of confession brings panic as we wade through who knows what and what we told this person or that person. We live with the perpetual fear of waiting for the other shoe to drop. When we confess we free ourselves of those fears and that waiting. Sir Walter Scott said "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Confession clears away the web of deceit. When we confess we free ourselves from the constant turmoil of weighing our words for fear of spilling the beans. Confession allows you to speak freely to those you love. Confession allows you live freely.
Allow me to encourage you to practice confession.
Confess your sins to God. 1 John 1:9 says, "But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." Your sins are forgiven at the moment you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
Confess your sins to your loved ones. James 5:16 says, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results."
Be encouraged and keep moving forward.