For four years I was an Assemblies of God minister and a monk with the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. This blog is an excerpt from my yet-to-be-released book about my experiences, taken from the chapter on Confession.
One of the great benefits of confession is the way it removes us from the manipulative hands of the enemy.
When the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery before Jesus, she had nothing more to hide (John 8:3-11). Her worst nightmare, exposure in the midst of her sin, was now being played out before the very eyes of those religious leaders who had the power to take her life. She deserved death, for the law said that she should die for the sin of adultery (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22). However, under the watchful eye of Jesus, she found not only pardon, but mercy, grace and forgiveness. Jesus literally saved her from the consequences of her sin. When she was brought to Jesus, the only thing she had left to cling to was a blanket to cover the shame of her sin. Now she found Jesus a new covering, for Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more” (John. 8:11).
If we would all come to the realization that everything that we have done or will do is even now exposed to Jesus – and we don’t even have a thin blanket to cover our shame – we would gladly give ourselves completely over to His loving grace and forgiveness. When we confess our sins to God and to those we’ve offended, we will find ourselves able to repeat the words of Jesus, who said of the Accuser, “he has no hold on me” (John 14:30).