“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
We typically think that if given enough time, our sins will work themselves out. Boy, are we wrong.
When we sin, we compound our sin and frustration by analyzing, weighing, and calculating the “best” way to cover it up. Going full-ostrich is never a realistic solution to our sin—it actually makes it worse.
Taking our sin to the spin zone is a guaranteed non-starter, as Solomon says, we “will not prosper”, meaning we won’t advance, things won’t get better, we won’t move past it. Ironically—nonsensically—we are actually making things worse.
As the Psalmist writes, “For 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” (Ps. 32:3–4). As the Psalmist refused to confess his sin to God, he felt like he was fading away. Have our friendships cooled because we are hiding something? Has our devotion to Christ waned because we are holding on to a sin? Has our marriage become distant because of hidden sin? Has your church commitment vanished because a sin’s become more precious? It’s quite difficult to clutch our sin and be crucified with Christ. Only open hands can receive the nails.
Hiding sin is a self-shackling; it’s a false freedom. We think we are free because we feel like we are in control, but we are leashed to a lie. Covering our sin, deleting web histories, hiding receipts, erasing text messages—these are all landmines and no one will ever evade them all. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23).
But there is always good news in the gospel.
“But he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
What grace from God! Confession and repentance are the red carpet for God’s mercy. We wrongly think that if we confess this sin, God’s gonna get us. Boy, we couldn’t be more wrong. God says, “If you’ll confess your sins, I am faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
God’s not messing around. He says we will obtain mercy. This is a gospel promise. God’s inviting us to blaspheme our ideas on how to cover sin, and he’s inviting us to receive the covering of Christ’s blood in our place for our sins. Confession isn’t a sign of immaturity; it’s a sign of clinging to Christ. It’s a leap of faith, a trust fall into Christ’s mercy.
So, what needs to be brought into the light? What needs to be admitted, acknowledged, shared, and forsaken? “This is sin. I hate it. I’m sorry. I’m done. Help me.”
For the Christian, there is no sin so scary, so big, that we can’t confess. God says, “You will receive mercy.” There is now—nor ever!—no condemnation for those covered by Christ’s blood.
So, why not invite God’s mercy today? Confess, release, and receive.
“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.’” (Psalms 32:5)