I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5
When I was a teenager, my mom painted a mural on our living room wall, which stayed there for several years. It showed an ancient Greek scene of a ruined temple with white columns lying on their sides, a crumbling fountain, and a broken statue. As I looked at the Hellenistic architecture that had once held great beauty, I tried to imagine what had destroyed it. I was curious, especially when I began studying about the tragedy of once great and thriving civilizations that had decayed and crumbled from within.
The sinful depravity and wanton destruction we see around us today can be troubling. It’s natural for us to try to explain it by pointing to people and nations that have rejected God. But shouldn’t we be casting our gaze inwardly as well? Scripture warns us about being hypocrites when we call out others to turn from their sinful ways without also taking a deeper look inside our own hearts (Matthew 7:1–5).
Psalm 32 challenges us to see and confess our own sin. It’s only when we recognize and confess our personal sin that we can experience freedom from guilt and the joy of true repentance (vv. 1–5). And as we rejoice in knowing that God offers us complete forgiveness, we can share that hope with others who are also struggling with sin.
What’s the first step in identifying sin in your life? Why is it vital that you confess your sin to God?
Father God, I thank You for the gift of Your forgiveness that eliminates the guilt of my sin. Help me to first examine my own heart before I concern myself with the sins of others.
As mentioned in Psalm 32, the confession of sin can set us free. David explains that his unconfessed sin had physical effects on his body: “my bones wasted away” (v. 3); “my strength was sapped” (v. 4). At the time, many believed physical pain, problems, and sickness were always the result of sin. Even though this isn’t the case, we know that our mental and emotional state can impact our physical well-being. The three words for sin this psalm presents—transgressions (disobedience), sins (missing the mark), and iniquity (distorted character)—are contrasted with three expressions of forgiveness—forgiven, covered, and not counted against. When we confess our sin, we’re forgiven and released from the emotional weight of a guilty conscience.