Confession leads to freedom:
The Bible teaches us to “confess our sins one to another.” “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed,” James 5:16. James, the earthly brother of Christ, was writing to the scattered early church living outside Palestine, who were mostly Jewish Christians. James didn’t write to judge or criticise; he wrote to encourage the people in the face of their difficulties.
For most of us, “confessing our sins one to another” is terrifying. If we feel that our past or present sin is particularly bad, most of us want to keep it to ourselves. We feel guilty enough that we’ve disappointed God, without the added guilt and shame felt when we share with others.
When I was first a Christian I used to share with the whole church about my sins, thinking that’s what this Scripture called for, and yes, I was judged by some. Not everybody has a mature faith, and therefore to confess your sin to all can come back to bite you. That said I do believe that there is real freedom in confessing your sin to a Christian that you trust in confidence. This person can then pray with you and for you, and be your accountability partner if needed.
The release you experience is so freeing when you do confide in somebody about your sin. Satan wants to hold us all in shame, guilt, and secrecy. Confessing our sin to another breaks that bondage and leads us on a path of true freedom in Christ.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1: 8-9.