What Everyone Should Know about Confession

Thomas Dewar quipped, “An honest confession is good for the soul but bad for the reputation.” Well, here is my honest confession: I have often avoided confession.

By: Savio Sebastian

Sometimes, I use Ken Boa’s Handbook to Prayer to guide my morning prayers. It divides daily prayers into sections of adoration, confession, renewal, petition, thanksgiving, and more. The confession section begins with a Scripture and asks you to invite the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sins. I was surprised at what God revealed.

I realized I often sped through this part hoping God wouldn’t point out anything. I was thinking, You know I’m doing the best I can. I don’t have time to address anything new.

I’d slipped into viewing the Holy Spirit as a grumpy school principal who wanted to find fault with an imperfect student. I knew better. Yet there it was. I was avoiding the Spirit’s searchlight.

So, here is a reminder of the wonder of confession.

“Confess” comes the Greek word “homologeo,” which means “to say the same thing as another.” When we confess to God we say the same thing He says. We agree with God and align our wills with His values and perspective.

The Psalmist prayed:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24, NASB).

The Psalmist wanted to know if and where he had veered onto the path of pain. Sin always pains us. “But he who sins against me injures himself” (Proverbs 8:36, NASB). It also grieves the Holy Spirit and hurts other people. Asking the Holy Spirit to reveal sin is asking Him to deliver us from the path of pain.

Sin is missing the mark. It is falling short of God’s glory. When I fail to love others—or even myself as God does—I’ve missed the mark. When I’m not thankful because I don’t see my circumstances from His perspective, I’ve fallen short. But, when I agree with the Holy Spirit on the truth He reveals, He cleanses me from pain-causing sin (1 John 1:9).

To confess our sins is to agree with what God says about our sins. He says the following:

• Sin falls short of His glory, grieves Him, and injures us (Ephesians 4:30).

• He also tells His children, Jesus has paid for all of our sins on the cross (Hebrews 10:10)!

Confession is not a time of condemnation (Romans 8:1).

• It’s a time to express our regret to God and affirm His cleansing.
• It’s a fresh start.
• It’s removing the painful splinter so I can dance again.

Understanding biblical confession makes me welcome the Spirit’s searchlight. Confession is not only good for the soul, it is God’s wonderful provision to keep me close to Him.

What has been your experience with confession? Click here to share your thoughts.


Debbie Wilson

Debbie W. Wilson

Linking to #LivefreeThursday

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  1. Ann Musico

    There have been times when I just can’t even believe I am *still* doing something or still reacting the same way and when He shows me, my first response is to feel embarrassed and ashamed! But I know better – so there’s my confession Deb.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, I think most of us tend to feel that way. As you know, sorrow over sin is good. But shame and avoiding God isn’t. It is a happy day when sorrow turns to thanksgiving for His forgiveness. I appreciate your taking time to read and join the conversation.

  2. Cindy K. Krall

    Loved this! Your biblical insight was right on! Confession is not condemnation…I will remember that. So glad I stopped by. 🙂 (Your neighbor from #livefree.)

    • Debbie Wilson

      Cindy, thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment!


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