Psalm 32 speaks of the blessings of confessing our sins to God – and the negative effects of not doing so.
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.
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. Selah
(Psalm 32:1-4 ESV)
We protestants sometimes have a slightly whacky view on confession – this isn’t something you need to just tell your pastor. This is something you need to first confess to God, and then confess to anyone directly involved that you have sinned against. This needs to be a regular thing happening in our relationships. James 5:16 is a key New Testament verse that sums this up well — “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
Our sins need to be brought out into the light so that we can apply the work of Jesus to them – the forgiveness that he won for us on the cross with the sacrifice of his life as payment for our sins. We cannot hide sin, it will destroy us – bring it out into the light where it can be forgiven and relationships can be healed!
Then, after confession comes repentance – we need to turn from sin and change. The Bible speaks of putting off, renewing our minds, and putting on. (Check out Eph 4:20-24 and Col 3:1-17)
We need to fight the Americanized Christian church culture that ignores sin – we all have it – we need to follow God’s word on what to do with it. This is critical in marriages and parenting (yes, parents…we can sin against our kids. Confession and repentance is required!), but in all of our relationships.
That’s tough work, but good work – as the Psalmist ends:
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
(Psalm 32:10-11 ESV)