In a world obsessed with self-image, confessing one’s sins seems suicidal. How can you feel good about yourself when you admit that you are sinful?
However, we confess our sins because we know we are not as good as we think. In fact, we are corrupt, wicked, and broken. We need external help to make us whole again. And this is what we find in Christ.
When we confess our sins, we admit that we are fallen and in need of God’s grace. We make ourselves vulnerable before God so that he can take over the reins of our lives and direct it for his glory and our good. John reminds us that this is necessary:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, he instructed them to always seek forgiveness for their faults. Hence those classic words:
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).
Although David was consumed with zeal for the Lord’s house (v. 9), we find within his prayer an admittance of guilt (v. 5). Elsewhere in the Psalms, we find him readily confessing his trespasses to God. No wonder he was a man after God’s heart!
God gives grace to the humble, and confession (along with repentance) is a mark of humility.