|I didn't wear this. I tried it on in Taos this summer.|
Well, first, it is a matter of obedience to God to confess. I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We confess our sins to God, because ultimately, all of our sins are against him. So, beyond our initial confession of sin when we come to belief, we should be confessing our daily sins against God.
Now what about our sins against each other? Or what about our sins that might not directly seem to impact anyone else? How are we to confess these and to whom?
Let me back up and remind us that we will find it well nigh impossible to honestly look at and confess our sins unless we are finding all our hope in Christ. If we are not certain of God's great love for us, and his complete willingness to forgive those whose lives are hid in Christ, seeing our sins for what they are will crush us. The depth of our own selfishness, our deep, deep investment in our own agendas will send us to the pit of despair unless we are secure in our own forgiveness. You may have heard the saying, "For every one look at your sin, take ten looks at the cross."
Here's what's great about confessing our sins in the church. Sin isolates; confession restores and brings fellowship. Sins are a heavy weight and can tarnish our ability to love others; confession lifts the weight and enables us to reach out to others. Sin blinds us to our real identity in Christ -- beloved sons and daughters; confession brings us back to repentance and faith, the very living breath of the Christian!
Confessing with and to each other takes guts -- guts in the gospel. But we will strengthen and love the church the more we are able to be honest about our sins, and look to Christ to be everything for us.
This is the 7th part in a series. Go here to read 31 Days of Loving the Church from the beginning. Go here to read over 700 other 31 day series.