The Many Faces of Confession

In Faith Lessons by Tommy ThompsonLeave a Comment

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9

Many of our impressions about confession do not have a lot to do with what the Bible says. For those who grew up in the Catholic faith, it may conjure up a booth and an experience with a priest. For so many Christians, confession means admitting that they are terrible sinners, and that they need to feel bad about it. In the Bible, confession is more about speaking the truth and less about feeling bad. Truth comes in many colors.

We confess that Jesus is Lord. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9) As with confession of sins, we are called to speak truth specifically, the truth that Jesus is Lord of our lives. This may seem old-fashioned, but the confession becomes an unmistakable affirmation of where we stand and to Whom we belong. When was the last time you told someone you are a Christian? The words have power. 

We confess our sins and that we are sinners.This may seem obvious and unnecessary. No one is perfect. We all know that. Yet, confessing our sins has a different purpose. I know in my relationship with Weezie that specifically saying “I was wrong and I am sorry” is far different than assuming that she knows that I feel bad. In this sense, confession clears the air and allows us to move on toward forgiveness. It rights the relationship. In this sense, confession is the vehicle for healing.

We confess truth we need to believe. Too many people I talk to feel small and insignificant. They feel their life does not have a purpose and hope is dim. At these times I encourage people to confess the truth even if they do not feel the truth. I tell them to confess that they are God’s masterpiece (Eph 2:10 ). I urge them to confess that God has a purpose for their lives. (Jer 29:11). We are prone to believe destructive lies about ourselves and about others. Confession becomes the way we counteract those lies.In essence we say, “I know I feel this way, but the truth is …”

I regularly practice confession, though not in a booth to a priest. I confess my sins. I confess that God is good. I confess that Jesus is my Lord. I confess that He is not finished with me yet. I confess that He has given me gifts, and that I am to use those gifts in service to others. I confess that today is a new day and that His mercies are new for me this day, even though I messed up yesterday. I confess that heaven is my real home. I confess that I am loved by others and that I am His Beloved that He loves me tenderly and passionately. I confess the truth that I often do not feel. 

Confession heals me and transforms me.

What do you need to confess?

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