From the time I was a teenager, I believed that it is just not necessary to confess to man. I doubted Bishops’ abilities to hold confidentiality, and I subscribed to the theory that only God can judge me. But in reality, this was just a fear and rationalization. A fear of man and a fear of consequences. I rationalized that I didn’t actually need to tell anyone about my sins. That led to me never really addressing those sins and continuing to do them. Holding to this belief also symbolized that I did not want to change my behavior. Now, of course, there are many times in our lives, daily actually, where repentance can and should be done with prayer and that alone is sufficient. But I know now that if any guilt or resentment remains, further repentance is necessary. Due to my current situation, I have not yet been able to act on this new knowledge and confess to a church leader, so my testimony of this principle is far from complete. Yet I recognize believing this lie allowed me to continue to justify my behavior. It also allowed me to not be sincere in any repentance attempts. Colleen Harrison wrote, “As long as it is only to God that we do our confessing, we are still prey to the lie that if someone else, someone mortal, knew all about us, they would hate us or shun us in revulsion.” We cannot allow our fear of man to exceed our desire to be clean again.
What thoughts do you have on the idea of confessing to man?