Overview of the Practice of Confession
Confession may not be a spiritual practice that gets us fired up, yet it can be one of the most rewarding experiences, and something that has real spiritual significance. In the classic book, “The Celebration of Discipline,” author Richard Foster describes confession as being not just “psychologically therapeutic. But it is so much more. It involves an objective change in our relationship with God and a subjective change in us. It is a means of healing and transforming the inner spirit.” This healing and transformation is available to us because of Jesus Christ. No matter how much guilt we feel or how big our sins may seem, if we are followers of Christ, we have forgiveness.
Confession is a spiritual practice that can happen alone between you & God, or in community with other followers 1 Timothy 2:5 and James 5:16 show these different sides of confession. Both are important spiritual practices. When confession happens privately, we are, in effect, coming before God and owning up to what’s inside us and accepting the forgiveness we have in Christ. When confession happens corporately, we confess sins to another Christ-follower and that person is there in the flesh to respond to us in Christ’s name.
Whether you practice this spiritual discipline alone or with someone else, confession allows us release from not only the guilt of sin, but also an opportunity to turn from it. We are freed from the guilt of our sin by God’s grace (freely given). We are given an opportunity to repent and turn in a different direction. When we own up to our deepest weaknesses and failings, and when we present the most transparent view of ourselves to God or others through confession, we open ourselves up to deeper, more authentic relationships with God and others.
Confession is a spiritual practice you can incorporate on a daily basis (or maybe even hourly…). Keeping short accounts with God is a good practice to get into. It’s the sins that we try to hide that have the most power over us. Confession releases us from not only the guilt of those sins, but also allows us to escape the power of hidden sin.
What Scripture says
Incorporate this practice into your life
You can start this spiritual practice by just opening up to God and honestly telling Him what’s up. If you’d like some guidelines of how to go about it, this article from Discipleship Journal may help.
Access resource: Guidelines for Confession
While you’re at the Discipleship Journal site, review this short article about some misconceptions of confession.
Access resource: Confession Misconceptions
How does this practice relate to what I’m facing?
- Confessing it all:
- Confession is a spiritual practice that relates to pretty much everything you’re facing. If it’s stress, anger, conflict, discontentment, despair, doubt, guilt, laziness, or addictions — you can confess it. If it’s feeling condemned, if it’s feeling lost — you can talk to God about it honestly.