Confession of Sin
Pastor Lance, recently I was in a men’s group and tried to lead my group to confess our sins to each other like it says in the Bible (Proverbs 28:13, James 5:16 and 1 John 1:9). Unfortunately, it didn’t go well. I was judged and they were resistant. I believe that church should be a place for the confession of sins. Why don’t we do this more?
Great question, my friend.
I am a HUGE proponent of confession of sins and the healing that occurs there.
When I think of confessing sins I think of the following:
* From the pulpit I continually share my struggles, my failures, my errors, my sins, as much as the congregation can handle. I don’t like living in secret.
* I am in a leadership Discipleship group here at church and we just had a week of sharing all the struggles and sins with each other.
* My staff confesses their sins to me as the situation arises.
* I continually get confession of sins from members of the congregation.
* I remember a prayer meeting with a visiting pastor where people confessed sins openly.
* At a recent prayer time, there was a corporate led confession time, although it went terribly. And this leads to my next thought:
Confession of sins is to be done very delicately and with wisdom. Random group confession isn’t healthy. Let me tell you why.
1.) Some people aren’t safe. They have not grown up to the point of understanding the need for confidentiality.
2.) Some people aren’t mature and are shocked at discussion about sin, even though the same sins are in their own lives as well.
3.) Some people get slimed by confession – I remember the first time a brother confessed a certain sexual sin that I didn’t share. I couldn’t grasp why he thought the way that he did, so I meditated on it, examined it, and unfortunately in that process it morphed my view to where it became an added burden to me.
Should there be more confessing to one another? Absolutely! Should it be done in a proper, corporate way, or group way? Yes, I think there is a way to do it. We need more training and leadership in this area to create safe places to share as well as training on how to handle confession to us. It’s a part of discipleship.
Are people being rejected a lot for their confession? Not that I can see. We have created a rather open culture of admitting of weakness.
Bottom line is that I agree with you that confession is healthy and right. I want to merely add that it’s complicated and needs to be handled with care.
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