Confession as a Game
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.”1
We have on more than one occasion emphasized the fact that confession is needed for the healing of many sicknesses. It is also needed for spiritual and emotional healing. However, keep in mind that “confession without repentance is a game.”
True repentance not only includes godly sorrow for the wrongs we have done, but literally means to turn around and go the opposite way. That is, with God’s help, we need to determine to stop committing the sins we confess.
Realize, too, that some (if not many) outward acts of sin are the “fruit of a deeper root.” That is, the obvious act of sin is the symptom of a deeper sin. And, as Cecil Osborne pointed out, “When we are hiding a deeper sin or fault, we confess a lesser one all the more vigorously.”
For instance, a critical, negative person is an angry person. If he is going to stop criticizing people, he also needs to confess and resolve his anger. A control freak is a very insecure person. To overcome her problem, she needs to confess and get help to resolve her insecurity. A man who lashes out and hurts the opposite sex (or uses them for sex) is more likely than not to have unresolved issues with his mother and is angry at her. He needs to confess not only his obvious sin against women, but also to admit, confess and resolve his issues with his mother. It’s the same with a woman who has unresolved issues with her father and is acting this out sexually. We either confess and talk out these issues in creative ways or we inevitably act them out in self-destructive and sinful ways.
Thus, true confession and genuine repentance require that we be personally honest, or, as David put it, without deceit in our spirit. That is, we are not living in denial. In other words, we need to see, admit, and confess not only our external acts of sins (the obvious ones), but also the deeper and often hidden “sins of the spirit” that cause us to act out in self-destructive and sinful ways. Without doing this, genuine repentance isn’t possible, because as long as we fail to confess and resolve our inner sins, we will continue to act them out in one destructive sinful way or another.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me to see, admit and confess any deeper unresolved issue I may have that causes me to be sick or act out in sinful ways. Lead me to find the help I need to overcome these so my confession with repentance can and will be genuine. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Psalm 32:1-2 (NIV).