13 August, 2023
Pastor’s Viewpoint - July 18, 2023
Confession, repentance, and forgiveness – they are good for the soul!
Confession is owning up to God and others about the wrongs we have done. Repentance is the wilful act of not com- mitting that wrong again. Forgiveness is being willing to wipe the slate clean regarding any who have wronged us. They are very closely related concepts and actions that really need to go togeth- er in a package deal to get a complete, lasting solution to our sin.
Even though this is base theology of the Christian faith, with God the Father promising to forgive our sins if we truly confess and repent of our sin with Him – it is also crucially important for our human psychological health. Leading psychologist, C.E. Barbour says in his book, ‘Sin and the new Psychology’: “When the conscience, acting in the capacity of an observer, condemns the ego for wrong actions and the feeling of guilt results, there are three possible modes of conduct open to the conscious mind. The consciousness may do nothing whatever about it, allowing the emotion full play; it may repress the feeling, or it may rid itself of the depressing sensation by means of spiritual cleansing through confession.”
The first two methods are incomplete and fester. To find oneself in the wrong and do nothing about it is to set up an internal self-conflict. To repress it is just as bad. When we drive guilt into the sub- conscious and shut the door on it, we do not get rid of it!
There it festers and sets up an irrita- tion. The third response is the only method for full release from unconfessed sin. When sin is identified, exposed to the light of Christ our Saviour, and resolved through confession, joy is returned to the soul! There is no other solution!
If we look at Psalm 32, we find an honest account from king David on this subject. Verse five says, “then I acknowl- edged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord – and you for- gave the guilt of my sin.”
Our almighty, loving, and merciful Father has guaranteed to forgive our sin and restore us to righteousness with Him.
I encourage you not to carry around the burden of unresolved, unconfessed sin. The release, relief and joy of for- giveness is truly a gift from God.
Jesus gained victory over sin on the cross and God promises to grant us that victory through faith in His Son – take everything to the foot of the cross in faith and God will do the rest! Amen.
St Ambrose Anglican Parish