We so often hear others, and too often we ourselves, confuse admitting we have done something wrong with confessing in a theological sense. Admission is a simple statement that we have done something. “Yes, I broke the lamp, mom.” Confession goes much deeper. It requires that we “own up” to the wrongness (sinfulness) of what we have done. It requires a “full confession,” not just a partial one. It requires that we recognize the full impact of what we have done wrong (how we have sinned.) It requires genuine contrition for having done wrong (sinned.)
Apology is not repentance. In simplest terms, apology is a simple statement of being “sorry” for what we have done wrong. Repentance is not a statement from the mouth, but of the heart. Repentance is a promise to not repeat the offense, even in the mind or heart. Repentance requires action, movement toward righteousness, on our part. Confession must be honest and complete, only then can repentance follow.
It may not be necessary in all cases to be completely open to all others in confession and repentance. But we must be with God, always. We may try, even succeed, in fooling ourselves. Not so with God.
Some day we too will face that day of judgment. Will we be ready to stand before our Creator?
Alive in The Word