Points to Ponder: Confession is Good for the Soul

Points to Ponder
Confession is Good for the Soul
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

Confession is one of those things we hate to do but then feel better once we have done it. What does the term "confession" bring to mind for you?
We hear of prominent leaders and celebrities being accused of wrong doing, followed by a forceful denial in response. Then as time passes and evidence emerges, the person comes forward to do "the honorable thing" and admit what they have done. Not necessarily a confession, but a dutiful admittance; carefully worded for purposes of damage control. It's a save-my-neck maneuver more than about doing what's right. Lawyers help draft these.
A true confession is deeply honest and makes one vulnerable. The term simply means "to agree". To confess my sin is to agree with God that what I have done is sin against Him.
It's best however to practice confession before a regrettable, irreversible choice is made. To openly lie out what's on your mind and heart, to take ownership of what's stirring inside you is essential to neutralizing its power over your life. To confide in a friend or trusted counselor and say, "This is what's going on inside of me," is to confess its reality. There's no place for blame or making excuses. That will not change what is true and that it is there. Understanding the roots from which these things come is helpful; however, it's still yours.
John tells us to face it and be honest.
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:8-9)
God will handle it when you do.
Confession is a necessary part of healing. So often we will put on our "game face" and pretend we are okay. We don't let anyone get too close. And if we have dark thoughts, temptations, or struggle with self-destructive desires, we bury them from view; as if they can be contained because no one else knows. James says succinctly:
"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." (James 5:16a)
In recent months and years we have seen prominent, highly respected people fall morally. Some are nationally known, others are leaders in our local communities; trusted mentors and neighbors.
Among clergy, I know that one of the main precursors to moral or ethical failure is that there was no confession. The leader had no one in his/her life who could ask them the tough personal questions. There was no one in whom they would confide; a person to whom they could confess temptations, wrongful desires, and spiritual struggles. A lot of people have physical ailments that can be traced to spiritual roots. Thus James simply says that an unhealthy spirit will tend to manifest itself in an unhealthy body.
David physically struggled with how his sin had affected his relationship with God.
"When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long, for day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the droughts of summer." (Psalm 32:3-4)
"Your hand (my conscience) was heavy upon me." Have you ever felt that? What ails you spiritually can make you physically sick. David then opens up to the Lord.
"I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.,' and you forgave the iniquity of my sin." (verse 5)
As I have watched so many successful, capable people fall, I ache for them. Years of dedicated, hard work was lost because they succumbed to the darker desires that run deep within the human heart.
If only they had sought counsel. If only they had confessed to one who could pray for them. Instead they confessed to the media, resigned their posts, and spread a lot of damage.
Do you need to confess? Darkness is dark, no matter in whose heart it resides. Light pulls its plug. Confession is the light that helps heal. As it is with a diseased body so it is with a dis-eased spirit; expel the infection through confession, and healing can come. Pride is the only thing that tends to hold us back. But also realize that pride is the root of all sin, the source of every self-destructive tendency, and the beginning of every tragic ending.

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.