The Benefits of Confession
What’s your darkest secret? What skeletons are in your closet that you desperately hope no one discovers? I would guess that most of them are sexual in nature. Healing confession of sexual brokenness is a gift we don’t often receive in the Church. I remember Jordan, a client who struggled with sexual addiction and exhibitionism. One day we were discussing how great it would be if he could find a mature couple in his church to mentor him. He’d confess, “I’m struggling with exhibitionism,” and they’d reply, “Dear brother, we’re so sorry. That’s a tough sin to wrestle with. Tell us more about your struggle, and we’ll come alongside you and love you toward greater sexual wholeness.”
We both burst out laughing: “Yeah, right! Do these kind of people even exist?” Believe it or not, they do. Jordan was able to find compassionate, godly people to love and accept him. But I won’t lie to you. They’re not always easy to find. What a surprising gift confession becomes for healing guilt and dealing with a multitude of sins.
“People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy” (Proverbs 28:13 NLT).
Confession brings secrets to the light, draining their power. Satan operates in secrecy and darkness. The secrets we hide fester and gain greater destructive power. But when we bring them to the light, God gives us his perspective on them. The person who confesses lusting after another person often finds the attraction greatly diminished the next time that person crosses his or her path. As we confess our secrets, Satan is robbed of his condemning, enslaving power—giving us hope and perspective to make necessary changes.
“Confess your sins to each other, and pray for each other, so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen.” James 5:16 (NCV)
Confession also allows God and a caring person or community to see our ugliness and still love us. Humble confession and ownership of mistakes is a discipline every community of Christians should practice. It stops us from feeling that we’re imposters. In the healing power of confession we can let go of guilt and shame as we separate what we have done from who we are. We can move from imposters to redeemable sinners when someone knows our ugly secrets and still loves us.
About the Author
Dr. Doug is a psychologist, pastor, LMFT and sex therapist who has listened to over 55,000 hours of stories.
Doug enjoys using this practical wisdom in writing (best seller: A Celebration of Sex), teaching, and mentoring.
Get Connected with Dr. Doug by visiting his website, dougrosenau.com