The Healing Power of Confession
By Rick Warren
“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. Swallowing your sin can have even more disastrous results.
One of the healthiest choices you can make is to receive the forgiveness of God. Many people are 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 goneas in the summer heat.So I confessed my sinsand told them all to you. I said, ‘I’ll tell the Lordeach one of my sins.’ Then you forgave meand took away my guilt”(CEV).
In fact, an October 2013 study by scientists at Princeton University and the University of Waterloo scientifically verified what King David said centuries earlier: The feelings we can have 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 repent?
1. 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” (TLB). 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. Write them down, knowing you will be the only one to see this list. You can tear it up after you’ve finished this exercise.
2. Accept the blame. The greatest holdup to healing is you. Don’t rationalize your sin. Don’t minimize it. You may not be 100 percent to blame, but accept the part that’s yours.
3. 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 will forgive you.
Don’t put yourself at risk of spiritual heart disease. God wants to use you. Come clean about your sin. Get a fresh start.
Then see what God can do through you.
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 to God?
- Are there some sins you struggle with confessing more than others? Why?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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