I have a confession to make, don’t you?
Turning to God when we've sinned can be hard, but if we don't, we are in danger
Psalm 32 speaks of the blessing of having sins forgiven (check out verses 1-2). But the Psalm writer David had not always experienced such blessing. At one time, although he knew God, he had resisted him and not confessed his sin or repented of it. Check out Psalm 32:3-4;
“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.”
Ever groaned like this? Ever felt this sapped?
Only later did David return to his sense and come clean before God. Then, at last, the relief of God’s forgiveness flooded in once more.
“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.”
All Christians know from experience that nothing is more damaging to our relationship with Jesus than unconfessed sin. It is not that sin changes his love for us. We might fall into a terrible sin tomorrow, and yet God will not love us any less. If we have trusted in Christ, God’s love for us is absolutely secure. By dying in our place Christ has paid the penalty for all our sins; past, present and future. But, while sin does not change God’s love for us at all, it does change our experience of his love for us.
It all begins with a lapse into sin.
You tell yourself that you will never commit that particular sin, or never do it again, but you do. The damage to your mental health could be limited if you would turn immediately to Jesus, confess your sin and ask Him to help you to flee temptation in the future. But Satan does all he can to stop you doing that;
“You don’t really think that God will welcome you back after you’ve done that, do you? You should hang your head in shame and keep your distance from him rather than coming close to him”.
Once you fall for that lie, he tries another.
“The warmth of your relationship with Jesus is gone. You’ve let him down again and you feel bad about it. You’ve blown it, so it doesn’t really make any difference if you do the same thing again and again.”
So you keep sinning and it makes you feel even more guilty and even less keen to talk to God about it.
A vicious cycle has begun. The longer it continues, the harder it is to do what David did: leave the darkness and come back to the light of God’s forgiveness and grace. Excuse me, but I have a confession to make; don’t you?