This is what we should do. We should repent of our sins and joyfully receive the forgiveness God freely gives. And yet we keep silent. We repent of some sins to some people, but others we don’t tell anyone about. In examining my own heart, I’ve come up with lies that I often believe which keep me from confession my sins. Perhaps you might recognize them or even add your own
So apparently #blessed a thing. If you have time, head over to twitter and search for #blessed to get a sense of how your friends and neighbors define what it means to be blessed. Some will be sarcastic, others will just be sad and a little pathetic.
Thankfully, God’s Word defines blessed too:
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1-1)
As you might guess, King David says that to be forgiven is to be blessed. No Christian I know would disagree with this.
So why don’t we live like it’s true? If it’s true that being forgiveness is a great blessing, then why do so many of us refuse to practice daily repentance and thereby refusing the blessing?
David knew this paradox, too: “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 dried up as by the heat of summer.” (Psalm 32:3-4) It turns out that we’re not the first to bottle up our sins and sinfulness.
David continues to reflect on the right process when feeling the guilt of unconfessed sin: “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.” (Psalm 32:5) This is what we should do. We should repent of our sins and joyfully receive the forgiveness God freely gives.
And yet we keep silent. We repent of some sins to some people, but others we don’t tell anyone about. In examining my own heart, I’ve come up with lies that I often believe which keep me from confession my sins. Perhaps you might recognize them or even add your own in the comments.
- Lie #1 – The sin is a greater blessing than the forgiveness. Face it, if you wanted to be rid of it, you would have confessed it and sought help. Most often when we don’t repent, it’s because don’t want to let go of a particular sin. The converse lie we also believe is that forgiveness isn’t that great a blessing. We fail so often to revel in the sheer glory of being restored to a deep communion with our awesome Heavenly Father.
- Lie #2 – This guilt doesn’t effect me negatively. We sin and nothing bad happens. We do it again and nothing bad happens. So the deceitfulness of sin means we start to believe that our sin isn’t dangerous. That we can keep it quarantined in some private part of our life and it won’t spread its poison to all the others.
- Lie #3 – Others won’t understand. We know we ought to confess to others, but believe the lie that our sins are worse than theirs or that they won’t understand. For all the tricks Satan pulls, I’ve come to hate his isolation-by-guilt trick as much as any of them. Get this right: you’re not alone; we’re all pretty bad; let’s repent together.
- Lie #4 – There is still time. This one’s tricky because it’s often true. There probably is more time. Until the day, the moment, when there’s not. Playing spiritual Russian roulette with repentance reveals a deeper problem of not really wanting to be made right with God anyway (see lie #1).
So if being forgiven is being blessed, may God make us truly and frequently repentant people, that we might live in the blessing of the deepest possible communion with Him.
Jared Olivetti is a minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America and serves as the pastor of Immanuel Reformed Presbyterian Church in West Lafayette, Indiana. This article appeared on the Gentle Reformation blog and is used with permission.