Confessions: Good to Confess


It’s good to confess to you, Master, and to say, “Have pity on me: heal my soul, since I have sinned against you”—and not to use your leniency as a license to sin, but instead to remember the words of my Master: “See, you are made whole; do not sin now, in case something worse should happen to you.”—Saint Augustine, Confessions 4.4


The astrologers, diviners, and soothsayers would look to the sky and make predictions. Through observing the stars they would make a case for a person's fate by saying “You have, straight from the heavens, a reason for sinning that you can’t avoid,” or “The planet Venus did this, or Saturn, or Mars did it—not you.” Augustine, while recognizing that we are sinners, rejected the notion that our sinful behavior is fate. There is a choice in the matter, the choice to do good and the choice to do evil.


Our sin is not written in the stars, but rather, in the hands of our savior, Christ Jesus. And this is why it is as Augustine says, good to confess our sins. Because confession makes us whole and removes us from the path of destruction.


I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;

heal me, for I have sinned against you.”—Psalm 41:4


High King of Heaven, may I confess my sin, that you may heal my bones and lead me back unto the path that leads to life. Note: These are my daily reflections as I go through Saint Agustine's Confessions. Unless otherwise noted, I am using Sarah Ruden's translation of the original text, and the NIV.

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