Confession: Good for the Soul

Saying "I'm sorry" isn't the easiest thing in the world to do.

A recent teacher evaluation reminded me of this. Our headmaster's instructions to the observers were never to score any teacher with the highest ratings in all categories. Doing so eliminates any room for improvement. Reading over the remarks brings me face to face with my weaknesses-which I don't enjoy admitting. I'm tempted to respond with, "That's not the way it was," "I didn't do that," or "That rating was too low." But in order to improve, I must admit my errors or weaknesses-in this case to myself, and then attempt to improve my skills in that particular area. Failing to do so influences my effectiveness as a teacher and in some cases could even affect my job.

Confessing spiritual shortcomings is also paramount. "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." (James 5:16 NLT)

Confessing that I've offended God is the most essential confession for me to make. Sin separates me from God. Until I'm cleansed of that by accepting Christ's sacrifice, God and I won't be on good terms. This confession has eternal consequences. Confession of daily sins comes thereafter, and keeps the line between me and God open.

My confessions sometimes have to be made to others in the form of "I'm sorry forů.." This keeps my horizontal relationships in order. In extreme cases, I may even need to confess before my church. God's church is a body, and what one member does affects the entire group.

Sometimes my failure to confess can leave me lounging under a cloud of guilt or in a bath of misery. This confession involves my failure to accept God's forgiveness. When God says he forgives, he does. When I doubt this, I need to confess my failure to believe him so I can enjoy the abundant life he offers.

Confession diminishes the friction between us, God, and others. Is it your daily practice?

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for Your promise to forgive and restore when we confess.

Martin Wiles
Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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