The Healing Power of Confession
"Before I confessed my sins, my bones felt limp, and I groaned all day long." Psalm 32:3 (CEV)
It's not just swallowing too much food that'll torpedo your health in 2014. Swallowing your sin can have even more disastrous results.
One of the healthiest choices you can make for 2014 is to receive the forgiveness of God. Many people start the New Year carrying around a stinky garbage sack of sin. Carrying around that sack won't just make you ineffective for serving Jesus; it'll ruin your health, too.
The Bible teaches in Psalm 32:3-5: "Before I confessed my sins, my bones felt limp, and I groaned all day long. Night and day your hand weighed heavily on me, and my strength was gone as in the summer heat. So I confessed my sins and told them all to you. I said, 'I'll tell the LORD each one of my sins.' Then you forgave me and took away my guilt" (CEV).
In fact an October 2013 study by scientists at Princeton University and the University of Waterloo scientifically verified what David said centuries earlier: Feelings of being physically "weighed down" by guilt are real.
God has given us a foolproof method for relief from those soul and body-destroying feelings of guilt: repentance. How do you do that?
- Make a moral inventory. Psalm 138:23-24 says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life" (LB). In other words, you start by grabbing a pencil and paper and asking God to bring to mind your sin. Take your time. Don't rush it. Be specific.
- Accept the blame. The greatest holdup to healing is you. Don't rationalize it. Don't minimize it. You may not own 100 percent of the blame, but accept the 10 percent of the blame that's yours.
- Ask for forgiveness. Believe that God will forgive you. Ask him to forgive you based on what he promises in the Bible (1 John 1:9). Don't beg. Don't bargain. Just believe that God is able and willing to forgive you.
Don't put yourself at risk of spiritual heart disease. God wants to use you in 2014. Come clean about your sin. Start over.
Then see what God can do through you in 2014.
Talk It Over
- Make a list of sins you've never confessed to God. Accept the blame for your failures, and ask the Lord for forgiveness for each sin on your list.
- What keeps you from confessing your sins from God?
- Are there some sins you struggle with confessing more than others? Why?