The benefits of confessing our sins one to another
by Ndidi Ngwuluka 9/26/2010 / Christian Living
Every Christian is familiar with confession but it is certainly not an easy thing to do especially if it is a sin the family or society frowns at. At most, some of us would want confess only to our father in heaven. Have you ever wondered why you keep crying unto God to deliver you from your sins and it seems you got no answer? It does not mean God is not willing to help; however, some of his principles ought to apply:
Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed... (James 5:16a; The Message)
To confess means to acknowledge openly your sins. For James to advocate this, it means it has benefits one should not ignore if one sincerely wants to live a godly life and be a true representative of Christ.
When I confessed my hidden sins, there are some benefits I observed which I would like to share with you.
Avoidance of public humiliation:
God is so loving he will not allow you to continue to live secretly in sin for long. Indeed he is patient and will continue to nudge you to take the necessary steps required for your deliverance. But if you continue to allow the flesh to hinder you and not take action, he will allow you to be exposed so you can be helped. If you feel the consequences of public humiliation will be grievous; then go look for someone to confess your sins to.
The hold of Satan is broken:
When a sin becomes a habit, it is an indication the sin is ruling your life. You find yourself going on and off the guilty lane. This happens because of self centredness - the strong desire to satisfy the cravings of the flesh. Furthermore, the devil thrives in secrecy. So no matter how hard you try to help yourself you do not succeed because of the hold of the devil over your life. When you allow Mr. Self not to let you tell someone because you believe you will be condemned or you are seen as spiritual and so no one must know about the hidden sins, then you hinder yourself. However, when you confess, you expose the devil, breaking his hold over your life and with help from other Christians; you are on your way to victory.
Power of agreement:
I remember when I was sick and I would keep praying alone, my healing was not made manifest. However, when my mother prayed with me, I received instant healing. There is power in agreement. By yourself you may be overpowered but with a friend you can defeat the enemy (paraphrased - Ecclesiastes 4:12). This is also confirmed by another scripture which says 'how can one chase a thousand or two put ten thousand to flight...(Deut 32:30 NIV). Yes you have been praying concerning your sins but when you and the person you will confess to pray concerning the hold of Satan over your life, its impact is more in the spirit realm.
Healing and growth begins:
From the book of James, it is clear and even sounds conditional that when we confess our sin, we are healed. The NIV version of the bible says we should confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. So that is a clause used to indicate purpose or give explanation. What is the purpose of confessing to one another? The purpose of confessing to one another is for us to obtain healing. Healing is explained by strong concordance to also mean wholeness. Hence open confession activates cleansing and wholeness.
It encourages trust and support:
Confession of sins one to another builds trust in relationships. A number of us are able to handle offenses in relationships better when the offender tells us than when we find out or a third party tells us. It is more profitable in a relationship if you are open about your weaknesses the devil may take advantage of. When you are open, it tends to be less of a habit because you know someone knows. Because of accountability, you are less prone to sin and less of a target for Satan to control.
Ability to continue with God's work:
When I had hidden sins, I was always hesitant to minister lest the demons expose me by saying "Jesus I know; Paul I know but who are you?" I found out I could not correct anyone because I felt I had not moral justification to do so. I knew who God said I am but I could not agree or appropriate because I felt really unworthy. I felt hopeless, helpless and hypocritical; a person bearing the name Christian - without power. Confession enables you to step into your God-given destiny without fear or guilt. It empowers you to minister to others as God has directed casting out demons, healing the sick, teaching and encouraging people in the path of righteousness.
The journey to victory begins:
When I confessed my sins and the person prayed for me, I saw in my mind's eye someone walking out through the door. I believe it was the devil walking away defeated. Now I feel I am free to live, be and love God. However, I know it shall be like in the case of Satan tempting Jesus. It was stated the devil retreated but was waiting for another opportunity. I know the battle for my mind may continue but the bible provides solution for me to overcome. I shall be alert and continue to live daily in God's presence. My mind shall be renewed by saturating it with the word of God. If I guard my heart, victory is certain because that where life starts - thoughts become words/actions, actions become habits and habits become character.
Therefore, confessing our sins one to another is the beginning of our journey to victory. If you try to avoid the beginning of a journey and decide to start from the middle, you will continue to struggle with sins on the way and may never get to the finish line.
Remember, the devil will continue to have his hold over you if you don't seek help. Do not allow your flesh to hinder you. Go today and confess to your pastor, pastor's wife, an elder in church or whoever you can be accountable to so that you can be made whole and be a true representative of Christ.
Chinyelu Ngwuluka is a christian who is 'work in progress.' It is her earnest desire that as she shares her encounters, her readers will be enriched, encouraged and empowered to focus on Christ despite the obstacles, distractions and temptations.