The Healing Power of Confession
"Therefore confess your sins [and faults] to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."1
In response to the Daily Encounter, "Do You Want to Be Healed?" where we shared the importance of the need and biblical injunction to confess our sins to a safe and trusted friend, one subscriber responded saying, "Thank you for this message. However, I have a question, what if among the people I fellowship with, there is no one with whom I feel safe to confess my sins. My pastor said that if I confess my sins to someone, and tomorrow, he hears someone talking or gossiping about what I confessed, I can only blame myself for telling it to someone. So where can I find a trustworthy person who will not break my confidence?"
I replied to this lady saying, "Yes, I agree that it is difficult to find a trusted, safe friend, to whom we can confess our sins and faults. This is such a tragedy as the Bible teaches us that this is a vital part of healing. And, unfortunately, I have never in my entire life ever heard a pastor or a 'faith healer' ever teach on the importance of confession of sins as a vital part of healing. My suggestion is, if this is possible, if you can't find a safe, trusted friend, it is worth paying a well-trained professional counselor to whom you can safely confess your sins and faults."
I don't think this is true in the Catholic Church. If confession of sin/s to a priest is done with the right motive, besides being a biblical injunction, besides resolving guilt which, unresolved, can make people literally ill, it is a very healthy and a vital part of healing and recovery. It is tragic when we as Christians don't feel safe to confess our sins to church leaders and fellow church members.
If a counselor is needed for a trusted person to confess to, and if you live in the U.S. or Canada, you could call the Narramore Christian Foundation for the name of a Christian counselor in your area. Call 1-800-477-5893 and press "1" for Dianne and she should be able to help most callers.
If you don't live in North American, it can help to write a letter to God and confess all your sins and faults and feelings in writing (David did this in the Psalms) … then read the letter out loud in a prayer to God, and then tear up the letter so no one else will ever see it and hold it against you.
Also pray and ask God to help you find a safe and trusted friend to whom you can safely share all your failures, struggles, and sins.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, first, please help me to be a safe and trusted friend with whom fellow strugglers feel safe to confess their failures, struggles, and sins to. And when I need someone to whom I can confess my failures and sins please help me to find a safe and trusted person so I can be freed from guilt and be healed of any unresolved sin and/or super-charged repressed negative emotions that are seriously affecting my physical, emotional, and/or my spiritual health. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus name, amen."
1. James 5:16 (NIV).