Come Clean!

confession

Psalm 32 is all about the freedom that comes from confessing sin. I’m sure that many of us have, at one time or another, been overwhelmed by our own sinfulness. We feel a deep sense of shame for the things we’ve done and think that God must be disappointed in us. However, this shame and disappointment is meant to drive us towards God to seek forgiveness. Yet, sadly, we often “pull a Jonah” and run the other way instead.

Listen to how the Psalmist describes the effects of failing to confess his sin:

[3] For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
[4] For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

He is clearly burdened by a sense of guilt that simply won’t leave him alone! His silence concerning his sin was supposed to bring him freedom, but instead it had enslaved him. Failure to confess our sin makes us miserable. It leads our souls to shrivel up and not flourish like God designed them to. Not surprisingly, then, the right response is to confess!

See how confession led the Psalmist to the freedom his was looking for:

[1] Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
[2] Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit….

[5] I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Confessing your sin to God with a heart of repentance leads to forgiveness. The Lord considers the matter to be done and over with, paid for by the shed blood of Christ, leading to a fresh start. The person who has been forgiven by God is “blessed” and walks in newness of life!

What then is the Psalmists advice for the rest of us?

[6] Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found.

His counsel is simply to seek forgiveness while you still can. A day will come when forgiveness is no longer offered. God is a compassionate God, but his patience does not last forever. Each one of us will give an account to God for the deeds we have done, and therefore we should seek forgiveness while there is still time to do so!

Lastly, what does the Psalmist say is the end result of confession and having our sins forgiven?

[10] Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
[11] Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

In short, the forgiven man is one who has a deeper experience of God’s steadfast love. He has tasted of the goodness of the Lord, and responds with proclamations of praise. The shame and guilt and bondage is taken away and replaced with confidence and joy and freedom. It is certainly a trade worth making!

Let us be people who do not hide our sin and wallow in the misery that follows, but bring it to the God who forgives and find the joy that he freely offers.

Come clean!

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