A few evenings ago Mr. FullCup and I were chatting about confession. I had read 1 John 1:9 (If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness) and I popped the question “Do you think it means just to God or does that mean to others as well?”
We talked about it and how no one confesses their sin to another person anymore. I honestly can’t say if people still confess their sin to God or not. But I certainly hope so.
I told Mr. FullCup that I hoped it just meant to confess to God and not others because I don’t want to confess to anyone with flesh on. Not because I am afraid they won’t like me, or will think less of me.
I don’t want to because I don’t want to be the only one confessing sin. I don’t want to tell someone, “Man! I’m so guilt-ridden over stealing that pack of Juciy Fruit last week at Target.” (I didn’t!) Or, “I am really struggling with thoughts I should have.” Or gossip. Or anger. Or bitterness. Or….Or….Or…. .
I want there to be some sort of reciprocal confession. Not that we are trying to prove how much worse we are than the other person, but just know they have faults too. I know we all know intellectually that everyone sins, we all fail. But if no one is talking about it, if no one is being real, it is all too easy to feel, which leads to thinking, which leads to believing, that we are the only one.
This led to a discussion about forgiveness and how our asking God for forgiveness after we confess is not mentioned. We aren’t told, “If you confess your sins and ask for forgiveness, He is faithful and just and will forgive your sins….”. He is faithful to forgive without our asking. We don’t have to ask for His repeated forgiveness.
This led to my thinking this morning. Asking for forgiveness is not mentioned in Scripture. We are told to forgive. We aren’t told to ask forgiveness from God or from others. We are told to confess and forgive.
I’m still pondering and studying the whole issue and I might someday come and share some truths I’ve learned, or confess that I was way off base. But for now, I’ll let you ponder on it too. (and be sure to let me know if you have any great (or not-so great) thoughts.)