True confession

Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

One of the clearest proofs of how sin has affected humanity is the way that it has infected our minds.  So much of what we think is best for us is actually very detrimental, and vice versa.  If it weren’t for the wise words of scripture, we would be hopeless because of this.  One area where this is so clear is in the human tendency to hide our sin.  We actually think that if we cover it up, if no one ever hears about it, that we’ll be better off.  In our all-out effort to protect ourselves, we will do just about anything to make sure that no one knows the truth.  It may not be that we actually lie about what we’ve done; we just never tell anyone.  As a result, that “thing,” whatever it might be, is always “there.”  We can’t ever escape it.  It plagues our consciences and racks us with guilt, but we just keep covering it up because in our sin-affected mind, we think that hiding our sin is best.

However, the wisdom of the Word of God in the book of Proverbs tells us that the opposite is actually true.  To hide a transgression robs us of the good that could be.  It’s worse for us, not better.  That’s one of the reasons God has given us the gift of our conscience.  It’s like a pain sensor for the soul. Those who can’t feel physical pain as the result of a disease are prone to cause more and more injury to themselves because they don’t sense that hot things are hot, or that sharp things are sharp.  The same is true for those who, at first, ignore their conscience and eventually who dull it through neglect. The soul damage just gets worse through time, and rather than prosper in life, they suffer loss. 

So, what’s the remedy?  Again, in the wisdom of the Proverbs we are told that the remedy for the soul damage of sin is to confess it and forsake it.  Sin does its damage in the dark, when it’s concealed and hidden from view. But when we shine the light on it, sin itself is damaged, and its work brought to an end. Not that there won’t be consequences.  People who thought well of us might be shocked to hear the truth.   We may be humbled, even humiliated.  Regardless, the weight of hidden sin, when confessed, is lifted from us and we can be freed.  And the most wonderful thing of all is that the God to whom each one of us is ultimately accountable, doesn’t condemn us when we come clean about our sin. Wonderfully, He shows us mercy. 

God has told us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  King David found this to be true when he confessed His sin with Bathsheba, and the thief found this to be true as He turned to Christ on the cross. 

Confession: it’s the path to freedom from sin, while hiding our sin makes us slaves.  May God give us the wisdom to confess rather that to hide our sins, no matter that our minds may deceive us to think that the opposite is better for us.

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