We got in a conversation in my small group about confession. One man argued we weren’t called to confess to God. That clearly is not a biblical statement. The Lord’s prayer teaches us to “forgive us our trespasses” The 1 John 7 teaches, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
It’s important to God.
His second point was that confession does more for us than it does for God. I’ve heard that statement before and after thinking about it, have decided it is not true.
Let’s say there is a married couple. Let’s just call them Malakoa and Malako just for fun. Let’s say Malakoa goes out and spends $1,000 on whatever random thing she is obsessed with. She feels incredibly guilty, but honestly out of control. She has to have these things. There is no question how badly see needs them.
Finally, she comes down from her high. Or Malako finds the credit card statements. He is very angry. Malakoa has breeched his trust. He feels like he’s been lied to, and he is upset about her screwing up their finances yet again.
What happens next? Who is the one who gets the most from the apology?
If Malakoa truly repents and picks up the peieces from her error in judgement she benefits from her confession. But Malako is the one who really benefits. He probably feels his heart soften before him. He is ready to build trust again. His anger begins to unloosen his heart.
I believe God is like that too. We look at Jesus and His walk on earth and see Him hurt when others sin against Him. God was hurt by what Jesus went through on the cross and on the way to the cross. Jesus’ response to all of that hate was asking forgiveness from them. It was a tremendous task for anyone to do. Ephesians 4:29 teaches us the Holy Spirit is grieved. All three persons of the Trinity show the capacity to hurt and grieve. They don’t live independently of us – their existence is to relate to us, to love us and to forgive us. Our wrong-doings and sinful thoughts hurt them.