Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Confession. David's confession about his sin with Bathsheba is found in Psalm 51. Psalm 32 also records his response as he thanks God for the forgiveness of his sin. There is no apparent link of anger to David's sin, but his response to sin is the focus here. His first step in confession was to admit that his sin was against God. Yes, others were involved and affected by His sin, but his sin, and our sin, is always first an act against God.
Confession, seeking forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration with others involved will come after confessing to God. We must realign ourselves with Him before we can rightly see ourselves and how we have injured and offended those around us.
Confession is an important action for us who struggle with anger and it is a practice that we need to implement regularly as our anger is exposed. Confession involves two components. First, it is acknowledging our sinful behavior (anger) and that our sin is against God. It is declaring that our sin is an offense to God because we are refusing to trust God and because we are acting like we know better than God. Second, it is accepting the forgiveness, grace, and mercy that is provided through Jesus Christ's death and resurrection ( the gospel). It is living in the freedom that our sin was forgiven once and for all on the cross. Confession also links us to the power of the cross and the Spirit to bring about change. Confession is not asking for forgiveness, but it is thanking God for Christ through whom ALL our sin was forgiven at the cross.
Repentance works together with confession. It is turning from independence to dependence on God. It is giving up my desires and seeking God's desires. It is a change of course and practice. I choose to no longer get angry when I do not get my way, use anger to manipulate people so I can get my desires met, and it is trusting God when I lose something important rather than lashing out in wrath.
Anger is always directed at God because He is orchestrating everything in our lives. Confession of our sin of anger must always begin with Him.