What comes to your mind when you think about confession? Someone famous who got caught for something and then says in the news, “I did this?” If you are a Catholic, you may think it means to go to a booth and tell a priest about your sin. But is that what confession is?
Confession means to admit or acknowledge sin or wrongdoing; it also means to agree with someone or something. When we admit wrongdoing or sin, we pour out our heart to God and to those we have wronged. When we recite a creed, we show agreement with certain theology. They go well together because when you confess sin you agree with God that He is right, and you have been wrong.
Doesn’t it feel good when you confess? It takes some courage. But self-respect is better than another person’s respect. Sometimes, when we need to confess, what comes to our mind is, “What are they going to think?” But it is better to just say, “Let me confess this. I’m sorry that I wronged you.”
The first time I felt this I was eight years old. My aunt and uncle loved to play tennis. When I would visit them, we would play a lot. I had a cheap racquet, but theirs were good. One day I borrowed my aunt’s racquet. I started hitting balls against the wall. After a while, I began hitting rocks. Then I picked up a piece of glass and hit it. When I looked down at the racquet, the string had been cut. I panicked, put it back in the case, set it next to my aunt, and walked away.
The next day, my aunt returned home proud that she had broken the string of her racquet playing. She took the racquet to be restrung. When we went to pick it up, she said, “They told me that the string got cut. I did not break it playing.” My face went red, but I didn’t say a word.
She was gracious with me. But every time I would think about her, see the racquet, or play tennis, I thought, “I should tell her.” For three years I carried that. Finally, I told her the whole story. She said, “That’s okay, Gregg. You could’ve just told me right then. I love you.”
Secrets make you sick. When we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us.