In an ideal world, we would avoid stuff that we felt like we had to keep secret in the first place. In the real world, we all do things we are not proud of and it’s hard to find the right moment to confess those things to the people who need to hear it. When I googled the word “confession” to do my research there were a lot of religious articles on how to do a “confession”. There was even a You Tube video showing how you should do a confession in a church. And last but not least, a wiki article that explained the steps for what to say and what to do during a “confession”. As you will see in my research, confession does not have to be strictly formal religious act but it can be how we grow and build relationships. Confession teaches us about forgiveness and grace.
When you take look at “confession” and the definition, it is essentially a statement that you make to admit to a crime. However, confession can also be in a positive light where you are confessing your love for someone. I think restricting the definition to just the admission of a crime or a religious act is too limiting. Confession of love or appreciation for someone can be a great experience and can create intimacy for both people in a relationship.
Is it good to confess everything to someone? Maybe, maybe not. I’ve read that confession is good for the soul. People who go to confession on a regular basis talk about how it is incredibly powerful to hear the words of absolution. The benefits on a personal level when you go to confession are receiving grace, and being able to have a new beginning. This is great for the soul but does this type of confession change the behavior you went to confession for in the first place? Where does real change begin so you don’t repeat the same “sin” over and over again? According to this article, full confessions are better than partial confessions to help a person move on with their lives and not experience the negative results of extreme guilt. Why Confessing is Good for You but it is not a guarantee for changing behavior.
If you decide to confess a secret, here are a few good tips to consider before doing so:
- Think about whether or not it is worth the risk. Is this relationship important enough for you to be honest, no matter the cost.
- Think about what you would say to them, prepare your script ahead of time.
- Be prepared to work on the inevitable loss of trust.
- Think about how the other person will feel. Put yourself in their shoes.
Confession whether it is for religious reasons, or to ease your mind from guilt, or to confess your love for someone, there is a common theme that emerges. There is a high amount of risk in doing so. The complex reality of confessing secrets is that you need to pick your moment, your audience, and the right circumstances to shine light in the dark place.
If we don’t risk, then we miss out on the rewards. The rewards could be a new relationship. It could be a new beginning so you can change your behavior and become more of the person you want to be. Consider confession as your word to live by this week. Let me know what happens.