Do I need to confess a wrong I did in the past to someone who is not aware of it and wasn't harmed by it?


Hello Brother,

I have a question that has been weighing on my mind. I have read some of your responses to confession.  I believe that i have come to a correct conclusion but wanted to ask you to be sure. 

I did something that could have harmed a friend back in high school years ago.  I'm not even sure of all the details of what happened. I can't remember, but I do know that I could have wronged them.  The person is fine now and has a child, a boyfriend, and is living their life.  I have talked to the person since this happened and from what I can see, they have no problem with me nor was any harm done to them.  I just know that what I did could have potentially harmed them. So I wanted to know even though they are OK, must I still tell them what I did? 

I don't see in any way how confessing this to them could make it better for them or help them. It's not a case where me confessing would save them from some further harm either. It's just must they know what I did?  Am I required by God to tell them in order to be in right standing with Him.  I think that I'd only be worrying them with something that has passed.  I'd rather let them live on in peace without worrying about my mistake, especially when I don't believe it hurt them. It would potentially cause more harm than good.  The thing i'm worried about is if it is required by God for me to confess to this person what I did, if they have no knowledge of it.  I have confessed to God, and I know that I was wrong.  I was young and foolish but have repented and matured.  Does God require me to confess to that person if it is not for the purpose of settling the matter or reuniting us as friends? 


When a Christian sins, he must confess his sins to God. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).

When we have harmed someone else, then we are to straighten out the matter with the person we harmed as best that we can. "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (Matthew 5:23-24).

If I understand your situation correctly, you did something in the past that could have harmed someone, but it didn't. Thus, while you were reckless, your foolishness at the time didn't cause another person harm, so they have no hard feelings against you. There is no reason to stir things up again or cause potential anger where none currently exists. "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:18). Tell your fault to God and leave the matter in His hands.

Thanks brother. From what I know I didn't harm them, and they haven't said or did anything for me to think that I did. They still speak to me and are nice to me. I haven't heard in any way that they have a problem with me. Thanks for the advice. That's what I was afraid of doing. I didn't want to stir up something that someone wasn't angry about and create unneeded confusion. Now I know that all I must do is confess to God, unless I know that a person has something against me. I thank our Lord for you and the work He has you doing.