Confession doesn’t have a much of positive image. Perhaps it conjures up pictures of a musty confessional box in a dark and dusty church. Probably confession feels like it’s about feeling bad about ourselves, putting ourselves down and kicking ourselves for our mistakes.
King David was certainly someone who knew his faults and knew what it was to confess his sins and shortcomings. In Psalm 32, David helps us to see confession not as a chore, but a blessing.
When it comes to our sin, we really only have two choices in life. We can either bring it to God, or we can try and hide it from God. Whatever our sin, our mistake, our guilt or our shame, those are really our two choices.
In Psalm 32, David tells us the consequence of taking one of those paths: trying to hide our sin from God.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away (v3)
It is not good for us to hide our sin from God. That is not the healthy option. Like a painful disease, unconfessed sin sits in our heart and consumes us. It eats us up and makes us waste away. David continues:
my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. (v4)
David feels broken down and burdened by his wrongdoing. Have you ever felt like that? It’s deeply unpleasant and painful to try and hide our sin from God, to try and live as if nothing is wrong and there is nothing to repair. Yet we so often try and live our life like this, and try and pretend we have nothing to confess. Why?
I think it is because, while it’s painful to hide our sin from God, it’s also painful for us to confess our sins. It is painful to our pride and our self-sufficiency. It means admitting we do sin and get things wrong. It means turning to God and admitting we need him and his forgiveness.
That great theological, Bruce Lee, one said:
“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.”
It takes courage to confess. Confession is not easy or pain free. But it is worthwhile, and it leads to blessing:
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (v5)
Confession take courage, but it results in one of the deepest and most significant blessings we can receive – the forgiveness of our sins.
I am fascinated by the Hebrew word for confess. It’s actually related to the word for ‘hand’. That’s because it means to throw or to shoot a bow. To confess our sins is doing nothing more than throwing our sin to God. It’s saying I don’t want this, I don’t need this, please take it from me, please take it away.
You don’t need fancy words or special prayers (although sometimes a prayer that someone else has written can help us). Confession is hurling our sins at God who takes them and transforms them into blessing. Will you do that today? Will you do that right now? Will you throw your sins to God and experience his free and full forgiveness?