Sunday school teacher Ranai Carlton writes: ‘I was trying to teach the children that we all need God’s forgiveness. So, I asked one of the girls, “Lisa, when is a time you might need God’s forgiveness?” Her blank stare prompted a response from my son, “It’s ok, Lisa. You don’t have to tell her.” Then he turned to me and said, “We don’t have to tell you our problems. This isn’t the Oprah Winfrey Show.”’ It’s true you don’t have to tell others your sins, but you do have to tell God. David said, ‘When I kept silent about my sin… Your hand was heavy upon me.’ (Psalm 32:3–4 NASB) Confession does four things:
(1) Lets you experience God’s forgiveness. He already knows your sin, but He can’t forgive you when you blame-shift and make excuses. ‘If we confess… He will forgive our sins.’ The first move is up to you.
(2) It restores your emotional and physical energy. Nothing’s more draining than denial, and nothing’s more invigorating than a clean slate. David said, ‘My strength has failed because of my guilt.’ (Psalm 31:10 NASB) Reflecting on his affair with Bathsheba, he said, ‘When I kept silent… my vitality failed… I acknowledged my sin… You forgave the guilt.’ (Psalm 32:3–5 NASB)
(3) It lets you move on. Confession lets you start again. It’s important to draw a line between the past and the future in case you’re tempted to regress.
(4) It lets you grow. Thomas Edison is said to have remarked failure taught him 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb. Making failure work for you instead of against you starts with confession and accepting God’s forgiveness.