Why Confess to Other Christians?
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Sin wants to be alone with people. It takes them away from the community.
The more lonely people become, the more destructive the power of sin over them. The more deeply they become entangled in it, the more unholy is their loneliness.
Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light.
In the darkness of what is left unsaid sin poisons the whole being of a person. This can happen in the midst of a pious community.
In confession the light of the gospel breaks into the darkness and closed isolation of the heart. Sin must be brought into the light. What is unspoken is said openly and confessed. All that is secret and hidden comes to light.
It is a hard struggle until the sin crosses one’s lips in confession. But God breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron (Psalm 107:16).
Since the confession of sin is made in the presence of another Christian, the last stronghold of self-justification is abandoned. The sinner surrenders, giving up all evil, giving the sinner’s heart to God and finding the forgiveness of all one’s sin in the community of Jesus Christ and other Christians.
Sin that has been spoken and confessed has lost all of its power.