Forgiveness and Freedom in Confession
Please begin by reading Psalm 32
Has a secret ever kept you so preoccupied that it actually robbed you of peace? Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem “The Tell-Tale Heart” describes a man who held on to a secret transgression until it drove him to the breaking point. Self-obsession and idolatry lead men and women to commit all manner of sins in secret. The world and our own sinful hearts deceive us into believing that sins committed in secret can be compartmentalized and either dealt with under our own strength or simply left unaddressed until forgotten.
David, the psalmist, shares the testimony of his personal anguish in the wake of the events that unfolded in his life, recorded in 2 Samuel 11. David selfishly avoided his duties of fighting for his people, as his responsibilities as king would call for. Instead, he allowed his self-idolatry and sinful desires to control him, leading to an adulterous affair with Bathsheba and ultimately her pregnancy. In his continued reliance on himself, David ordered Bathsheba’s husband into battle so he would be killed before their transgression was discovered. David kept this tragic, sinful succession in secret for many months. David writes Psalm 32, processing the torment his self-absorption and his secret sins put him through.
Lies and secrets weigh on anyone whose transgressions surpass their own moral code. David describes the heavy anguish he endured keeping the sin from his Heavenly Father. Those who commune with the Lord and who have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them will experience even greater torment as the weight of conviction looms. In 2 Samuel 24:17, David ultimately confesses his secret sins to God, committing his transgressions, guilt, shame, and anguish into the Father’s hands.
The narrator of the “Tell-Tale Heart” ultimately confesses his murder to some policemen who are visiting his home. He was met with arrest, judgment, and eventual punishment. Our Heavenly Father speaks to us through the psalmist. In so doing, the Father promises His counsel, forgiveness, His steadfast love, and His protective refuge to those who confess and repent of their sins. Jesus, the Son of God and son of the House of David, took on the sins of the world, ripping the veil that separated the Father from His children. 1 John 1:9 promises: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Do you find yourself anguished, tired, or melancholy? Maybe there is a present sin that is in need of addressing.
- Take the time to meditate, journal, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any secret or unconfessed sin that is preventing you from experiencing a more intimate and whole connection with the Father.
- As a member of the body of Christ, our secret sins’ effects very rarely end with us. What sins might you need to confess, within the context of fellow believers you can trust, so that forgiveness, prayer, and accountability can aid in the healing process?
- As a traveler in this life, we are subject to the sins of others. Are there sins that others may or may not have confessed which you need to forgive? Pray for the strength to do so, and pray for that person
In Christ with Love,
Kairos Ministry Resident