Obsession With Confession
"Don't recite the same prayer over and over as the heathen do, who think prayers are answered only by repeating them again and again."1
Confession of all sins and wrongdoing is not only essential for receiving God's forgiveness, but also for achieving physical, emotional and spiritual healing and total well-being. However, a word of warning: Confession without repentance is a game.
Repentance means to turn around and go a different way; that is, turning from negative to positive behavior. To confess and not genuinely seek to discover and resolve the causes behind our negative behavior/s means that we don't want to face the real issues and are using confession as a salve to soothe our conscience. When we keep repeating this pattern, our confession may have become an "obsession with confession" and nothing but a smoke screen behind which to hide our real selves.
As Jesus said, "When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."2
The bottom line for effective prayer and genuine confession is the motive behind the prayer; that is, being honest with ourselves and with God with a genuine desire to overcome the sins and faults we are confessing.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me never to use confession or any religious ritual as a means of hiding from my true self. Help me to always be honest with myself and with you. And may my confessions always be genuine; and grant that, with your help, I will overcome my sins and faults. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus name, amen."
1. Mathew 6:7 (TLB)(NLT).
2. Mathew 6:7-8 (NIV).