Confession Is Good For The Soul
The other day I came across an old aphorism that I've heard or read a thousand times or more over the course of my life, and that many people assume comes from the Bible, which it doesn't. Here it is:
Confession is good for the soul.
My curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to find out where it came from, but soon discovered that the exact origins are hard to trace.
The best guess is that it came from an old Scottish proverb, and the originator most likely used as inspiration some of the many verses in the Bible about confessing one's sin and finding peace as a result.
Like this one or example that comes from Peter's sermon in Acts:
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. - Acts 3:19
After he asks the third time whether Peter loves him, Peter says, "Lord you know everything. "
O'Tuama offers this as an explanation to Peter's third response:
I don't read this as a declaration of omniscience. I think he's saying, "I know you know I've [messed] it up." and I think Jesus is saying, "Alleluia."
O'Tuama used a different word than the one I chose, but you get the idea.
I absolutely love this way of seeing that exchange and the grace that flows when Peter is finally honest enough to be in agreement with what Jesus already knows about him.
This is our way forward from the weight of guilt and shame. It's our way forward from a life filled with the denial of God's grace for us.
It's a way forward for us where we admit what God already knows about us, and realize that God loves us beyond all ideas of love that we might have.
And our tortured souls can rest in that knowledge and be at peace.
May you discover the courage to be vulnerable enough to confess, and may you know just how good it is for your soul. May you discover anew the grace of God that falls fresh upon you every moment of every day.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.