In Acts, the Bible says there was a group of people involved in sorcery who came and confessed their practices because they intended to change. When Paul says to confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ that is a statement of change. We are basically saying, “I am going to follow Christ, not my own ways.”
When confession happens, it is intended to break the cycle of sin. When we confess our sins to the Lord and to somebody else and we apologize, we feel guilt relief because we have gotten things right, but it is also a statement of change, because now we have been placed under accountability for our actions.
Often, we would prefer confess only to God and not tell anybody else. This option gives us a little bit of an out. But when we confess our wrongs to the person that we have wronged, we put ourselves into accountability for change. Andy Stanley says in his book, Enemies of the Heart, “Remember the purpose of confession is not to relieve your conscience. It is to effect change and reconciliation in your life.”
Who do we confess to? The two people that we have hurt. We have hurt God because we have sinned against Him, so we confess to the Lord. Then also we confess to the human person that we have hurt: “I am sorry that I did that. That hurts you. I’m sorry, please forgive me.” Now we have been placed into accountability.
Confession is not just for us to feel better. It is to restore the relationship. Keep your lists short. You don’t want to be on your deathbed apologizing to everybody.
Make sure that things are right between you, God, and others.
A simple confession with a sincere heart goes along way!
“And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.”
Acts 19:18 NKJV