Just the thought of the word has scared me.
While I was deep in sin, seeking out things for myself, the idea of confessing what I was doing was pushed back in my mind. I always thought of confession and Pandora’s box as the same thing. If I confess, then I am admitting my mistakes. If I admit my mistakes, then no one would be willing to be associated with me.
But I also believed that if I confessed to God, then no one else really needed to know. God and I would work the problems out and I could find victory.
That didn’t work!
I can not count the number of times I would confess to God and try to stop giving in to my addiction on my own. Each time was sincere. Each time I promised it was the last.
But each time I went back to the addiction. Each time I went back, the addiction was stronger. I needed more to find the same contentment as before.
43“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.”
Failure was all I knew when it came to confessing my addiction to God. Why was he not helping me?
It was right in front of me, if I had only looked……..
16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
For someone who claimed to love Jesus, I didn’t even open my eyes to see how to find freedom. It took fear and exhaustion for me to find out the truth in James 5:16.
When God convicted me on November 2 & 3, 2004, I never felt a greater weight on my shoulders. I knew God was showing me His love by giving me the overwhelming desire to admit my sins. But there was also a great fear that matched almost every desire to confess.
“I want to confess to Christi, but what if she kicks me out of the house and I can not see my kids?”
“I want to tell my small group, but will they think I am a hypocrite and never trust me again?”
“Would my parents still love me if they knew I was not the man they thought I had become?”
“I want to find freedom, but I will miss all of my “friends” I have made online. Do I really have to give them up?”
Fear came with every question. But after all the questions, I still had the prompting to confess. If I turned away from this prompting, would God give me another chance? I have turned down so many chances in the past.
Hands shaking, nausea overtaking my stomach, I approached Christi when I walked in the door from work. Pulling her away from the kids, I started to confess my past. All I can remember were my tears starting to flow and my knees being weak while I spoke.
Was I really confessing? Only by the grace of God.
As I finished telling Christi what I had done, I knew it was time to expect the worst. All my fears were now going to be realized… no they were not!
Christi wanted the kids to have an involved dad. If I was going to confess to her and seek help, she would fight through the struggles. My knees were strong again, my hands stopped shaking, the nausea was gone. I felt joy and a hope!
Now it was time to tell my accountability group how I had not been accountable to them. Two hours after telling Christi, I told the group. They were surprised, but they promised to see me through addiction toward restoration. And after that night, they held up their promise.
Having seen the love of my wife and my small group, it became clear that these were the people I needed to seek out in my life. Turning away from my internet friends was much easier after I realized true friendship.
Confession was vital in opening my heart to restoration. If I had not confessed and my sins were exposed in another form, I can not tell you I would have been given the same opportunities.
Confession is admitting you have sinned. It is accepting responsibility, owning that you are not perfect. It is the first step after asking God for redemption.
Someone finding out your sins without confession does not lead to repentance.
13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
If you are struggling with the desire to confess, but fear you will lose everything, think about this: How can someone use the sin against you if you have already made it known?
Confession is scary until it has been done. But I can personally state that it took a weight off my shoulders and changed my life forever.
If you are unsure you have the strength to confess or want to talk about it in more detail, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.