"Therefore, 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."
"I bet on baseball in 1987 and 1988." After denying it for nearly 15 years, baseball legend Pete Rose finally admitted that he bet on baseball and his own team while managing the Cincinnati Reds. Rose's confession is the root of his new autobiography, "My Prison Without Bars."
God gives us a lot of guidelines on how to live life in Scripture. Yet, I find the command to confess our sins to one another is a hard thing for many to do — not just Pete Rose. So often our sins are secret. We keep our sins locked up in a fireproof safe. Sometimes we might confess to God (which is good), but others … no way! It'd be humiliating, embarrassing and would ruin our image. I have these thoughts all the time.
Yet, Scripture tells us to confess our sins for our benefit. Know first that God loves us and wants to mold us into new creations that reflect His glory! Confession to other Christians whom we can trust is extremely constructive in this new creation process. The main reason for this is simple: accountability. We use accountability all the time in sports to make us better athletes. Think about lifting weights. A partner helps us show up more often. They encourage us to put forth the best effort. And they spot us, picking up our slack when our own strength isn't enough. That same sense of accountability applies in our spiritual lives, as well.
Confession to another person will require seriousness and boldness, and it will probably be hard. But, when done with the right heart and with the right person (another Christian whom you can trust), it will only make us better. Confession will help mold us into God's image. It will also set us free — free from our "prison without bars."
1. What sins are you keeping hidden?
2. Have you confessed it to God?
3. Who is one person you can trust enough to share this with?
4. Looking honestly at the situation, how will it help you to confess this sin?
1 John 1:9