There’s this old saying that, “Confession is good for the soul.” But I didn’t fully understand it until I was reflecting on 1 John. John teaches that when we claim that we have done no wrong, we are only lying to ourselves and not living in alignment with the word of God. If we say that we have not sinned, we are essentially calling God a liar, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The key here is simple; honesty. We have to be honest with God and ourselves. We have to maintain awareness of the ways that we are dishonest with ourselves and the Lord because we risk losing blessings, peace, and so much more.
When we’re honest with the Lord, it requires more than talking about our sin. It requires us to believe what the word says about our sin and change our ways. There was one time that I was upset with my spouse and I got short and rude with him. Before I could confess it to the Lord, I had to name it. My upset/anger was rooted in envy. And the word is clear about envy, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). I knew what I did was wrong and I apologized because I wanted to be living in alignment with God’s word. See, we don’t confess our sins because God is unaware. Remember, He knows all. We confess our sins to reinforce our awareness of our sin/weaknesses. Our action after confession shows the Lord that we’re sincere. My new focus is to ensure that I don’t do it again. I know the Lord is faithful to strengthen me to withstand being envious in that way again and that comforts my soul.