“Confession extends the healing of baptism to the realities of sinful life after baptism. ‘Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects‘ (James 5:16). Accountability to the other, and ultimately to the Other, is a healing act of humility, a necessary and often painful condition for real change and repentance. When one bares one’s soul to at least one other person then real accountability and potential for change can occur.”
(Daniel B. Hinshaw, Suffering and the Nature of Healing, p. 243)
In confessing our sins to another, we come to experience our human life as being truly social – we are members one of another. “Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25). Confession is teaching our self to put away falsehood – lies, pretension, pretending, covering up, deception, self-deception, hypocrisy, acting for show – so that we speak the truth about our self not only to our self but to those we are supposed to love. In confessing to another, we get outside of the confines of the self, and experience our organic unity with the rest of humanity. We realize we share a human nature not only with the sinful Adam but also with the Christ.
Every human is part of a bouquet – there is beauty in each of us, and yet when arranged with others, the glorious result is even more stunning and profound. The individual beauty of each flower is highlighted and intensified by being in and with all of the other flowers, leaves, stems and greenery of the arrangement.