Yesterday I noticed a Facebook sidebar mention of a True Confessions page on the social media site. I was amazed that someone felt the need for further confessions. After all, scrolling through my “newsfeed”, I see numerous postings containing too much personal information already. I shrugged off the little advertisement as just another sign of the times.
At first blush it seems redundant to have something called a “true confession”. Aren’t all confessions true? Perhaps there are also “false confessions”. Are false confessions really confessions? Why would anyone confess to something they didn’t actually do? Are they just attention seekers? Maybe they have some sort of unresolved emotional problem. Perhaps a false confession would serve as a red herring in the instance of criminal behavior. The subject of false confessions is probably best left to forensic scientists.
I thought about the Roman Catholic practice of Confession. I am not Catholic so the ritual is a bit of a mystery to me. Do priests often hear false confessions? What about the confessions involving serious crimes like robbery or murder? I’ve never asked my Catholic friends about it because Confession seems like a highly personal subject to broach.
Should I be surprised there is now a phone app for Confession? Are there priests who moderate this app? Are there communications between the app and one’s local parish?
I understand the inate desire of people for true confession. Heartfelt confession of a wrong clears the air and begins the process of healing a tainted mind. True confession is an expression of candor and honesty. When a confession is sincere, it feels as if a huge burden has been lifted away.
I have a fuzzy memory of my first major confession. It was the first day of First Grade class at school. One of my classmates had bullied me that morning. Later in the day, I sneeked away from recess then scribbled in crayon all over the papers left on the bully’s desk. After recess, the teacher figured out that I was the culprit. I was sent to the principal’s office to confess my ill deed.
Even if people don’t believe in a deity or are not compelled by the police to confess to a crime, folks still make true confessions. It’s safe to say we’ve all made true confessions at some times in our lives.
You probably learned that confessing sooner rather than later is the best policy. That shortens the duration of guilty feelings in one’s conscience. The more sincere the confession and apology helps the process of healing and conciliation.
We’ve learned that clarity and simplicity are best. Most importantly, the confession is best made face to face with the party against whom we’ve trespassed. True confessions are a major step towards closure for both parties.
Confessions are more powerful when there is no waffling or excuse making. A true confession is precise and exactly to the point. There should be no ulterior motive. There should be no expectation of reward or avoidance of punishment. A confession may or may not redeem us in the eyes of the victim or authority figure.
A true confession just puts the facts into the open. The ability to make true confessions is a major aspect of living a good life.