We’ve all heard the phrase, “The truth will set you free.” But until we experienced the shackle-breaking realities of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth surrounding Steve’s addiction, we didn’t realize how profoundly true that saying is. Why is confession important, you ask?
My friend, confession is important because the truth WILL set you free!
Confession: The Most Powerful Tool to Set You Free
So today, we’re going to do a little Bible study using Psalm 32 to discover how clearly the Bible supports and validates exactly why confession is important. Hopefully it will inspire you to move forward with courage and confess the whole truth so that you can be free.
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.
Day and night Your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Finally, I confessed my sin to You and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And You forgave me!
All my guilt is gone.
Therefore, let all the godly pray to You while there is still time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgement.
For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control!”
Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey Him!
Shout for joy, all whose hearts are pure!
Why is Confession Important?
According to these verses, refusing to confess our sins leads to misery and defeat. I am sure any of us who have ever tried to keep our rebellion hidden understands how true that is.
On the other hand, it says a life lived in complete honesty – allowing sin and guilt to come out into the open – will be cleared of guilt, and will be rewarded with the joy that comes from being forgiven. In other words, the truth will set you free. The result is victory!
How different the Christian life would be if we truly embraced this principle. Imagine if we all had the humility to live it each and every day! Lord, humble me so that I will be quick to recognize why confession is important and admit my sins and shortcomings and live in the victory You offer!
In recovery, the ultimate goal (when it comes to truth and confession) is for the addict to choose honesty and to recognize the spiritual importance of confession. For the spouse of the addict, what makes this so difficult is that we can only control what we do. So we can only hope and pray the addict will make the right choices and then try to make our way toward our own healing.
In our story, we are so thankful Steve chose to submit to this truth and confessed, not just to Cherith, but to our kids, extended family, and church. It made such a difference and became one of the most pivotal steps toward freedom from his addiction.
But let’s be honest, bringing sin into the open is humiliating. None of us want the world to know our darkest secrets. But we’ve come to believe that freedom and healing is impossible as long as they remain hidden. The enemy uses these dark realities to pull us back into the sin. That’s why confession is important! Let’s look beyond Psalms 32 in Scripture to see what God has to say on the matter.
Proverbs 28:13 – People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
James 5:16 – Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results!
We are meant to confess our sins to one another. There is power in it. Breaking free from strongholds will never happen on our own. It won’t! We have to stop trying to do it alone. We have to stop pretending we have it all together. We are doing nothing but damage by living in these lies!
The Bible tells us that people who conceal their sins WILL NOT PROSPER!
It tells us plainly to confess our sins TO EACH OTHER.
Why? So that we can be HEALED!
How? Through the earnest prayers of a righteous person which has GREAT POWER, and PRODUCES wonderful RESULTS!
Father, help us to be obedient! Unify us together so that we will have the power You intended in order to live this life in victory. Help us to realize how desperately we need each other. Help us to treat each other with love, praying earnestly for one another. Help us to understand our calling to restore one another when we wander, and give us the humility to understand that one day we will be the one in need of that restoring power! Make us quick to acknowledge why confession is important, Lord, and quick to extend mercy as You are so faithful to do with each of us! -In Jesus’s Name.
1 John 1:5-9 (NIV) – This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Lying and Deception in Relationships
As I said before, praise the Lord, Steve did confess his sins and his addiction to me, to our family, and to our church. That was the first very important step on our road to healing. But there were many years before that happened. Many years where Cherith felt desperately alone, trying to figure out how to move forward.
She felt called to stay in the marriage, but knew that Steve was not being honest with her. No matter how much she talked, she was incapable of convincing him of the importance of confession and honesty. No matter how many times she pleaded with him, he refused to surrender his pride so that the truth could set him free. Many times, she wondered where God was in all of it. But now, with hindsight on our side and an answer to the question, why is confession important, she has claimed this verse over those years:
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
God was there all along, but he was giving Steve time. He was steadily working on his heart, relentlessly pursuing him, and faithfully giving Cherith everything she needed to endure. When we look back, we can see how He led her to make just the right decisions at just the right times.
He will do the same for anyone who asks!
His timing is perfect, His plan good beyond our comprehension. Steve is a child of the One True God, so he could never hide from the Light of God’s Truth! Remember this:
Mark 4:21-23 – Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.
John 1:4-5 – The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Praise God, He did light up our darkness! Friend, no matter the schemes of the enemy, Jesus is going to win the victory. Darkness cannot extinguish His perfect light! The sooner we step out into the open, the sooner we’ll be able to experience the joy and peace that comes with repentance and surrender. The sooner we’ll be free!
And what is a spouse to do with lying and deception in the relationship if the addict won’t confess? Pray for God’s light to shine into your darkness and bring into the open everything that is hidden. Then, wait on Him, and follow His leading.
It’s such a scary road to walk, I know. But when we’re holding onto our Father’s hand, we’ll get through.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Here is an excerpt from Cherith’s journal back in January 2017:
“Steve confessed his multiple infidelities to our church body this morning. It was a roller coaster.
Of course, there was some humiliation as we stood up there. I worried what people would think of me. Would they think I was a terrible wife and can’t keep my husband happy? Would they pity me in a way that I don’t want to be pitied?
I wondered what they would think of Steve. Would they think he’s a bad person, or some kind of monster? I realized that I still want people to respect him, what would this do to his reputation?
I know this was all based in selfishness and pride, and that it was sinful. The Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another. The Bible tells us to bear one another’s burdens. The church as God wants it to be is a place of safety and love where we don’t judge each other in moments of humility. Where we love and support one another. Where we help carry each other’s burdens. Despite all my sinful reservations about this morning, ultimately I knew this was the right thing to do, and I was so proud of Steve for having the courage and humility to do it. I have to believe that God will honor that act of obedience.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter how people respond. Maybe some people did think bad things about both of us. It doesn’t change that it was the right thing to do. Obedience to the Word of God is ALWAYS the right thing to do. How others respond to that obedience is between them and God. Overall, though, we felt overwhelmingly supported and loved. People were encouraging and understanding and gracious. Many other people have been where we are… or ARE where we are. I pray God uses this situation to bring our church body together. To facilitate growth and to challenge our men to be passionate followers of Christ – committed to living lives of integrity! I pray that it brings Him glory.”
When we look back at that we are in awe. God has been so faithful! The truth really has set us free! I am reminded of these verses:
1 Corinthians 10:13 – The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.
James 4:7-10 – So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and He will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.
We are so thankful Steve finally took the way out God provided! We are so glad he realized why confession is important! I pray it will serve as a reminder to all of us that there is so much power in confession! The Bible makes that so very clear!
Let’s all decide to be contrite before our Lord. May it break our hearts when we find that our loyalty has been divided in any way! May we draw near to Him and ask Him to purify our hearts. May we all find the humility to accept the way out that God is so faithfully offering, and may we confess our sins to one another and find healing!
John 8:32 – And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!