Growing up in the Catholic church, going to “confession” was regularly expected. Does the Bible really say anything about confession. If so, what is our responsibility regarding it?
The Bible does, in fact, mention confession. But it is not going into a “closet-like” room in a large church while a priest listens to you pour your heart out, and then prescribes certain rituals to absolve you of your confessed sins.
We are to confess our sins to Yahweh directly and He will forgive us. In Psalm 38:18, we read, “But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.” And again in Psalm 51:3-6,17 “For I recognize my shameful deeds—they haunt me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight...But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my utmost being. The sacrifice that you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O Yahweh, you will not despise.” These are the real ingredients of a confession to Yahweh — sorrow for sin, humility before Yahweh, seeking Yahweh and His forgiveness, turning to Yahweh in Prayer, and turning away from sin.
In closing, read 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.”