Confession and Healing

What do you think of when you hear the word confession? Fun? Or painful?

James 5:16 jumped out at me yesterday. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Yeah, that made me cringe. I am all for prayer and healing, but confession? That is a tough one. I don’t usually link confession to healing. Of course, this may be a physical healing, but it also may be spiritual or emotional.

Then I found 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This is another well known verse, but I had never really pieced these together. Jesus cleans us and washes the evil from us when we tell Him what we have done.

Next up was Proverbs 28:13. “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” There it is: mercy.

Now, I am preaching this to myself, but confession is hard. It is never easy to get on our knees and tell God what He already knows we have done. It is even MORE difficult to sit across from someone and tell THEM what we have done. I think sometimes we can trick ourselves into believing we confessed and are done. We can get back into life as usual and push the nagging sensation that we are missing something out of our minds. But when we tell another living soul, another flawed soul, there is accountability.

God meant for us to live in community, not in a bubble. We need each other: to sharpen, to encourage, and to point out when we need correction.

There is power in confessing sins out loud in front of godly witnesses. When we can look them in the eye and see their compassion, it is a reflection of God’s forgiveness. This is when sin’s bond is truly broken.

The healing that happens starts with a peace and acceptance that we are loved. We are no longer separated from God and can fully cling to Him with nothing between us. Yes, we sinned, but we are not defined by that action. The God who created us has shone us in a tangible way that He loves us no matter what.

Maybe it doesn’t always take confessing to another person, but I think this usually the most effective way to get to the heart of the matter.

Our heart. Because it matters to God.

Linking with Holley Gerth


8 thoughts on “Confession and Healing

  1. You hit the nail on the head with that all-important phrase ‘godly witnesses,’ Sarah. Sometimes it takes awhile to find 1 or 2 souls that fit the bill … especially if we’ve been burned by rejection or gossip or whatever when we’ve bared our souls.

    Makes me more thankful than ever for the One who we can trust with every bit of who we are …

    Super post, girl. So good to visit with you this morning!


  2. This verse floats in my mind so often, reminding me the power of transparent grace and overflowing mercy. God is always soooo good. Thank you for this heartfelt reminder of living merciful so that we can receive mercy.

  3. Confession is hard for me too.The times I have confessed have ended several ways – Complete forgiveness from the other party or a total – I don’t care attitude. But either way the confession is more for us than the other person. Thanks for sharing your heart !!!

  4. Oh, you’ve poked a sore spot in my soul. I’m halfway to 98 and I’m just now learning the art of confession and asking forgiveness of other people. It is NOT easy–but it IS healing. Change doesn’t come easily for a stubborn introvert like myself!

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