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Confessing Our Sins

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler

When we truly belong to others, we begin to feel secure enough to be who we are. At peace with ourselves, we can enjoy life more. For instance, I sometimes do crazy, silly things around my children that I would never think of doing in a public setting. And they do the same around me. Also, when you feel you belong, you can begin to be more honest about your failings. You no longer need to pretend you are better than you are. James 5:16 tells us that we are to confess our sins to one another.

But how many of us dare to do so?

You may object, saying there’s no need to confess your sins to a human being when you have already confessed them to God. But perhaps there is something else that’s making confession difficult. Most of us fear rejection and humiliation. We think people will despise us if they know the worst about us.

I’m not suggesting that you confess your sins to everyone. But if you confide in one or two mature Christians who have grasped the gospel and their own desperate need for grace, you needn’t fear. You can start with something small and see how the person responds. It takes time to build trust. Then, as the relationship develops, you can disclose more of your struggles. When you confess to a person who is mature in Christ, you will have little to fear and everything to gain.

Sin isolates us. We feel separated from God’s love, guilty and condemned. Sin also separates us from other believers in the hope of destroying us. Confession is a protection. It’s a medicine we’d rather not take, but it’s one that robs the devil, who seeks to devour us, of his power. Instead of feeling condemned, confession allows us to experience God’s love and mercy through our sisters and brothers. Another human being knows the worst about us and still loves us. That person manifests Christ’s love to us.

Community is meant to be a place for healing and restoration, a place where we can lock arms together as we live out our faith. Proverbs 17:17 tells us that “a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” May each of us find the friends we need to stand firm when life is difficult, and we become such friends to one another.





Originally published March 26, 2020.