When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD "-- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:3-5
Unconfessed sin is a cancer on the soul. As David writes, it doesn’t just affect us spiritually, but it also takes a toll emotionally and physically.
The deception of sin is that it allows us to believe that we have control over it, when sin actually has control over us. Sin causes us to think, “I can stop any time I want to.” But, here’s the deal: if you could stop, then why haven’t you stopped? If you don’t believe me, then I would challenge you today, to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and quit. Cold turkey. If you think you are in control, then you can quit today and never go back to it. Let me know how it goes for you. Let me know when you need to quit again.
I’m not saying these things because I am better than you. I am saying these things because I am you. I’m just as fallen and as prone to sin as the next guy. I’m just as easily deceived into depending on myself until the next crisis arises. So, I suppose that I am just as prideful and stupid as anyone else.
The power of sin lies in our secrets. My friend, Paul, says “I’m only as sick as my secrets.” We worry about our loss of reputation or embarrassment if someone found out what we were up to. We can’t believe that we let ourselves become trapped by sin, yet part of us doesn’t want to get away from it. The result isn’t life and peace, but guilt and shame.
Here’s the deal: if you were truly in control of your sin and could quit, then you would have quit already. You can’t. If you are trapped by over-working, online relationships, smoking, mindless web surfing, endless television watching, pornography, over-eating, over-exercising or over-anything else, you need the help of other believers to escape this trap. If you are trapped, that thought is terrifying.
Why can’t I just confess this to God? Why do I need to involve anyone else? Because you’ve already confessed this to God, and you’re right back in it. James writes, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). We need the accountability from someone who loves us, but is not impressed with us. This isn’t a person who keeps a “record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5), but someone who encourages us so that we don’t give up. Paul writes, “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
The blessing of confessing our sins is found in the beginning of this Psalm:
Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man
whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1-2)
My hope and prayer for you today is that you will find the blessing of forgiveness and freedom through your confession, true fellowship and God’s power.
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