May 22, 2017

Posted by in Devotionals | 0 Comments

When Confession is Delusion

When Confession is Delusion

“Confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16)

In this month’s devotion I want to deal with the question, “Why is it so much easier to confess our sins to God than to one another?” Since God is righteous, just and without sin and hates sin -while on the other hand fellow man knows himself intimately and, therefore, knows she/he is a sinner- why do we chose to only confess our sins to God? I also ask myself, if I have confessed to God, then why do I keep relapsing into the very sins that I think I have confessed? When I ask myself these questions, the disturbing answer I get is that in such instances we may not be truly interacting with God, but are actually be confessing only to ourselves and then granting ourselves self-absolution! When that is what we are doing, what a travesty that is! Our Christian obedience is then failing precisely because self-forgiveness is not real forgiveness and can never lead to breaking with the sin “confessed.” For this very reason the Bible offers us another model to follow: “Confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16) As we know sin loves the darkness, but we are called to the light and to become light. When we never confess our sins our sins remain in the dark. Confessing to another person brings our human frailties out into the light, where they can be cleansed and forgiven.

Bible Study Discussion Questions:

  1. When you confess, not to another person but completely alone, are you satisfied that you are really confessing to God, or do you think sometimes you are only speaking to yourself? Can you tell the difference?
  2. What do you experience when you feel you have received forgiveness?
  3. If a person sins and the one sinned against is still alive, can only that person forgive you? What if she/he will not? Who then can forgive you?
  4. Why are you afraid to confess to another human being? Is it because you want your fellow human to see you as more perfect than you really are? Is it because you do not want to be vulnerable? Is that vulnerability shame?
  5. Can you see that the person who usually confesses only to themselves, instead confesses in the presence of another person is able to break the cycle of self-delusion and can experience the presence of God in presence of another member of his/her community?
  6. Who is a disciple of Christ? I personally believe that every Christian is a disciple and can forgive sins. What do you believe? Besides, God, can [only] a priest or pastor offer forgiveness/absolution?

Other Scriptural Passages to Consider:

  • Jesus said to His disciples, “If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained” (John 20: 23)
  • Jesus said “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am among them”               (Matthew 18:20-21)
  • “He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13)

Written by Heather Whitehouse, Ontario Chaplain, The Kings Daughters and Sons, June, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *