When someone is placed under oath they swear to, “Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

The middle phrase is a problem for someone who wants to minimize what they’ve done. Most of us are okay admitting we did something wrong, as long as we can withhold the details. It’s one thing to say, “I blew it last night.” It’s another thing to say, “I binged and ate a gallon of ice cream,” or, “I watched porn for three hours straight.”

I used to think a partial confession was okay. I mean, why make myself look bad? Or, why make a friend uncomfortable by asking for the details? Right?

The more I help people break strongholds, the more I’m convinced partial confessions aren’t confessions at all. And I don’t think I’m doing a friend a favor by letting them off the hook and not pressing for the whole truth. I don’t mean someone should confess every lurid detail. But looking back I can see that most of my confessions mentioned the tip of the iceberg while leaving the rest hidden below the water-line. Partial confessions are an attempt to cover-up what we’re most ashamed of. And unless we bring that into the light, the stronghold stands strong.

Telling the whole truth requires the power of God to overcome the resistance of sin to enter the light. And not just sin, but demonic spirits. Both live in strongholds and urge us to keep in the dark what we’re most ashamed of. I’ve concluded the greater the resistance to completely confess a sin, the greater the need to confess it.

Think about it, if something inside is pleading with me to keep my sin concealed, it means I’m ashamed, or enslaved. Both are a form of bondage. And that bondage will expand its control until the shameful secret, or sin I’ve committed, is exposed. Jesus taught this when he said, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known” (Matthew 10:26). It’s just a matter of how and when. I can confess it now or God will expose it later.

The Apostle John spoke of the benefit of confession. And I suspect he meant a confession that tells the whole truth. He said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

If it’s purity you’re seeking, then tell the whole truth when you confess. And remember the promise of Jesus, “Blessed the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Photo by Mr.TinDC, CC

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