March 2, 2012
For about 10 years, I had many insecurities and fears that led to numerous sinful decisions and behaviors. I made multiple excuses to myself, others, and God to avoid or deny the feelings, shame, and reality of my mistakes. My hole got deeper and deeper until I ended up in jail and finally had to be honest because I had no other excuses to give or places to hide.
Today’s Scripture is much more lengthy than usual, but it expresses so beautifully the despair that so many of us experience … the despair that comes with hiding our sins from God. But it also reveals the great freedom we experience when we finally stop trying to hide our guilt, confess our sinful decisions to the Lord, and receive His loving forgiveness.
Even though painful feelings are unpleasant to experience, facing them honestly and dealing with their cause is essential to our ability to function and to feel fulfilled. If we want to be the person God has called us to be … if we want to stop hurting others and ourselves … if we want to experience the freedom and peace in our lives that Christ died for … we must face the truth and ask God for His forgiveness and His help. That is the first major decision. The second is to be good stewards of His help and instructions through Godly decision-making.
Jesus understands the damage that occurs when unpleasant feelings resulting from sins are ignored and pushed below the surface. He encourages us to approach Him like a little child … quick to be vulnerable … willing to share our feelings with Him … trusting that He will heal us, not rub salt in our wounds or take advantage of our vulnerability.
In childhood, there were times when we opened up, trusted, made ourselves vulnerable, and were then hurt. We weren’t stupid, so we figured the only way to avoid further hurt or let down anymore was to hold it all in, not open up, be skeptical of others, not share our mistakes, questions or insecurities. Satan wants us to keep our wrongs in the dark because He knows the Light will allow truth in, and let healing prevail.
Today, think about sin in your life that you may be hiding … especially from yourself. God loves you and is ready for you to come to Him. He is your loving Father. Come to Him as the psalmist did. Then you can join the psalmist in rejoicing: “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” Develop the Spiritual Discipline of confession. Look at our Spiritual Basics link. It reconnects you to God and puts Him back on the throne of your heart so healing can begin. Life is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I confess my rebellion and my sins. Forgive me for trying to hide it for so long. Thank You for Your unconditional love, for Your forgiveness, and for the peace that only You can give. Empower me with trust to come to You and be vulnerable when I am afraid of experiencing old wounds. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One you sent to teach me about unconditional love, honesty, and humility, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My Strength evaporated like water in the heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Psalm 32:1-7