"Yet I will let no man take private confession away from me, and I would not give it up for all the treasures in the world; for I know what comfort and strength it has given me. No man knows so well what it can do for him as he who must struggle and fight much with the devil. The devil would have slain me long ago if confession had not sustained me. For there are many doubts and false matters which a man cannot settle by himself...So he takes a brother aside and tells him his trouble. What harm does it do him to humble himself a little before his neighbor and put himself to shame? When you recieve a word of comfort from him, accept and believe that word as if you hear it from God himself." (Dr. Martin Luther - What Luther Says - para 972, page 330).
Sometimes it is thought that individual confession and absolution is to be reserved only for some "big sins" from the past that haunt a Christian and give him or her no peace. This treasure is certainly to be used to help calm a conscience that is troubbled by particular misdeeds. But this treasure is equally valuable for battling "sin" itself, that is, the sin-sickness that infects us, the mess that clings to us and the daily sins that flow from our sinful hearts. As Luther taught, our greatest sin is unbelief and wanting to be God ourselves. From that root sin flows all manner of selfishness and anger and greed and worry and lack of love and trust in God and...well, the list goes on and on and on... Thank God that His forgiving love for us goes on and on and on as well and that He has given precious means to bestow His healing release upon us!