Sometimes people come to me for counsel and ask a “trial balloon” question. I do not always know that it is a trial balloon question until later because I’m really gullible. Here is how it works: The person who is battling a specific sin asks me what he or she should do about an acquaintance who is struggling in that area. Or they might ask for personal help, but in a “safe” matter so as not to arouse my suspicion. It’s all about trust. Because the issue is very personal, the way I handle the trial question determines whether or not I get the real one.
One fellow many years ago who was battling same-sex attraction told me about an acquaintance who had some sinful habits along those lines. He wanted to see if I would give what he considered the standard fundamentalist response before he confessed that he was in the same kind of bondage. Thankfully I did not.
This may be the reason you and I have such a hard time with personal confession before God. There is a risk that, knowing God, He will not stop at forgiving you your trespasses. He may bring the bulldozer. He may make you change when all you want is temporary relief. As I said, it’s all about trust.
It is much easier to say, “Father, please forgive me for being crabby today” than it is to say, “Father, I have been putting so many things before You in my heart that I spend hours every week sinfully angry. I am unloving and selfish in my relationships and lazy in my service to You. Because Jesus died for sins such as these, please forgive me and help me change.” And He will.
C.S. Lewis compares the work of God when we confess sin to the work of dentists when we go to them with a toothache. He says in Mere Christianity (Book 4, Chapter 9: "Counting the Cost"), “I knew those dentists; I knew they started fiddling about with all sorts of other teeth which had not yet begun to ache.”
You should never question the love God has for you. He is even gracious to His enemies, never demanding rent when they walk His earth and breathe His air. So, if you are His purchased possession, do not hesitate to “dump the whole load” when you confess your sins. He already knows how bad it is anyway. The demolition work will only make you look more like His Son.
Can you trust Him?