"Do we need to confess our sins to those we have sinned against?"
We know we are to confess our sins to God, but many Christians wonder whether we need to confess to those we have sinned against.
Do we need to tell the person we've sinned against that we're sorry?
"Walking in the light" (1 John 1:7) means that we are living in obedience to God's commandments. In the same verse we have references to forgiveness through Christ and "fellowship one with another."
So, there is a connection between having a "clean slate" and our relationship with other people.
Every sin is ultimately committed against God (Psalm 51:4).
The Bible consistently emphasizes our need to confess our sins to Him (Psalm 41:4; 130:4; Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).
As for the confession of our sins to people, the Bible gives no blanket command.
We are told many times to confess our sins to the Lord, but the only direct command to confess to someone else is in the context of church elders praying on behalf of the sick (James 5:16).
This does not mean that we are never to seek another person's forgiveness.
The Bible gives examples of confession to other people.
One is Joseph's brothers asking for his forgiveness in Genesis 50:17-18. And person-to-person confession is implied in such passages as Luke 17:3-4; Ephesians 4:32; and Colossians 3:13.