Confession simply understood is truth-full talk to God in the presence of a witness. We confess not to get ourselves into heaven or to secure forgiveness. This is grace-fully given to us by God already. We confess in order to be healed. Confession is a healing act in so far as we place our brokenness beyond denial (secured by the presence of a witness) and by doing so, experience our messed-up-ness being heard and held in love. Confession (as truthful talk to God in the presence of a witness) is a gift for us to use especially if the following quote from Richard Forster connects with us in any way:
“We have prayed, even begged, for forgiveness, and though we hope we have been forgiven we have sensed no release. We have doubted our forgiveness and despaired at our confession. We have feared that perhaps we had made confession only to ourselves and not to God.
The haunting sorrows and hurts of the past have not been healed. We had tried to convince ourselves that God only forgives the sin, God does not heal the memory, but deep within we know there must be something more. People have told us to take our forgiveness by faith and not call God a liar. Not wanting to call God a liar, we do our best to take it by faith. But because misery and bitterness remain in our life we again despair. Eventually we begin to believe either that forgiveness is only a ticket to heaven and not meant to affect our lives now; or that we are not worthy of the forgiving grace of God.”
If these words ring true I would invite you to seek out someone you trust and respect to witness your truth-full talk to God. Courage, Alan