"In confession a Christian breaks through to certainty. Why is it that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to another Christian? God is holy and sinless. God is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. But another Christian is sinful as we are, and he knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. Why should we not find it easier to go to another Christian than to the holy God? But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God? Whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution. And is it not the reason perhaps for our countless relapses and the feebleness of our Christian obedience to be found precisely in the fact that we are living on self-forgiveness and not a real forgiveness? Self-forgiveness can never lead to a breach with sin; this can be accomplished only by the judging and pardoning Word of God."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, No Greater Love: Lenten Meditations