There is something about “coming clean”….. “owning up”…. “putting it out there”… “being perfectly honest”…. that is good for the Soul. It is sometimes hard to do…but when you humbly confess you feel so much better… you feel free and peaceful, at rest with God.
Before I became a Catholic, I confessed to God directly….but some sins, although I confessed them and felt God had forgiven me…my soul would not rest. It wasn’t until I confessed them to a priest, who listened, prayed for me and counseled me, and I heard the words from God through the priest, telling me I was forgiven— that my soul was at rest.
Christ said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
We are accountable for our actions in word, thought and deeds. We are accountable to each other as Christians…yet so few hold each other accountable.
Remember the sinking feeling you had when you had to go to your parents to confess something that you had done wrong. I know for me… I didn’t want to disappoint my parents, yet I knew that I had to confess to them my wrong doings. I hated to do that as I didn’t want to disappoint them. yet I knew they would be even more disappointed if I hid something from them. We can never hide anything from God… he knows our very thoughts. Since he knows our very thoughts and see our actions….we cannot hide our sins. That is why he sent his son Jesus to physically show us how much he loves us…that even while we were yet sinners, he allowed his only son to die for us on a cross…his Son, Jesus, took our punishment upon himself to pay the penalty for our sins. God asks of us to confess, repent and turn from or sin.
Sometimes, we complete the confession…but we dont’ repent or turn away from that sin…and repeat it again and again….at which point we are grieving the Holy Spirit within us. It is a process…asking forgiveness is only the first step….turning away from the sin is the second…and making amends for what we have done is the third.
So the parts I kept leaving out were turning away and making amends…thus that left the door open for repeating sin. Confessing comes along with sorrow… was I sorry for what I had done… did I want to make things right???? really???
Just like not wanting to face your parents for repeating a wrong….so it is with our heavenly Father. Why would we want to offend him over and over ??? Perhaps we are not looking at the cross as closely as we should?
The priest, representing Christ in confession, tells me how much Christ loves me, that God is full of mercy and understands me more than anyone. He wants to help me and He made a way to help me in blotting out any sin I have or will commit. The priest reminds me what Christ did on the cross…how Christ has taken the punishment for my sin, then he encourages and gives me something to reflect on to help me to turn from sin in the future…. I am sorrowful and agree to turn from my sin and to make amends. Yes! Confession is good for the Soul!! And my soul is at rest.