“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
You want to know something? Confession makes me uncomfortable.
Getting honest before God is tough for me. I’m a perfectionist. I like to have everything neat and tidy, all my ducks in a row, if you will, and I often consider myself at my peak proficiency level if everything is checked off my to-do list before the end of the day. So admitting that I messed up, that I sinned, that I fell short, tops my list of the really, really hard things this Christian life requires.
Confession makes me feel naked and vulnerable, as if all of my defenses are blown away and all of my protective walls have come down. When I’m honestly, humbly confessing my sins to Almighty God, His brilliance is breathtaking and my unworthiness is obvious.
How enjoyable does that sound?
Still, I have made it a habit of mine to carve a few minutes out of my prayer time every day to confess my sins and ask for God’s forgiveness.
Why in the world would I choose to do something that I admit is unpleasant?
The answer is grace.
Confession is in no way the end of the story. Confession (if you go by the ACTS prayer method, which I love) is at the beginning. It is the starting point, the launching pad. After I confess my sins, I accept God’s forgiveness and mercy. I accept His grace and thank Him for it.
So why does confession often turn out to be the most heartfelt moments of my prayer time? Confession reminds me of God’s love for me.
Confession also helps me recognize when my perfectionist self focuses a little too much on cleaning up my life rather than having compassion on other’s lives. Being honest before God about those things I wish I hadn’t done guides me to be more in tune with His Spirit, who then leads me to devote effort into doing those things I wish I had done. In effect, confession refocuses me off of my to-do list and onto the Lord’s.
So confession is a means to realizing God’s grace has been extended to me. And it fills my heart with love so that I in turn can go and be gracious to others.
And that, my friends, is worth every fidget and squirm.