Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. – Proverbs 28:13
Let’s be honest. We’re all pretty great at concealing our shortcomings. Anyone who has social media is probably guilty of this in some regard. With our pictures and posts portraying the praise-worthy moments and accolades of our individual lives, we can allow this façade to find its way into our real-world relationships and friendships. I’m not saying this practice is inherently bad. I mean, I don’t really want to see your child’s temper-tantrum shown to the world on Facebook live. Yet this mechanism that we fall into of publicly showing only our good can become dangerous when it comes to our walks with the Lord and our walk through life with our Christian community.
When we conceal our transgressions from the Lord and man, it eats away at our hearts, driving a wedge in both our horizontal and vertical relationships. Unconfessed sin can cause bitterness to fester in the hearts of fellow believers, and the enemy of our souls wants nothing more than for that to happen.
What I believe is often worse than this bitterness however, is the guilt and shame that the enemy can lay on us as we sit in the consequences of what we’ve done. The enemy loves when we keep our sin in the dark, when the reality of God’s forgiveness isn’t exploding through our hearts and souls. That’s why confession truly does bring mercy.
It is through the act of confession that our hearts are laid bare and the grace of God and others can sooth the deep recesses of our hearts. It is through the act of confession that the light of God’s grace can repel the darkness of guilt and shame, bringing renewed joy and hope in the gospel.
Confession is a lost art in many Christian communities and families. I’m not stating that we should begin every small group Bible study and family dinner with everyone’s laundry list of sins against the Lord and man for the week. But there is truly a freeing beauty accompanied with confessing one’s sins to an intimate body of believers.
Let’s lay down our individual facades and acknowledge before God and man that we struggle, that we sin. It is here that we will find mercy.
Father God, create in me a heart for bringing my sins and transgressions into the light of community. Give me the willingness and desire to confess my sins to those whom I have wronged, so that I can find mercy for these failures. Thank you for being a merciful and faithful God. Help me to forgive those who have sinned against me, just as you have forgiven me. In Jesus’ name, amen. – Nathan Roach