Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13
Winston knows he’s not supposed to chew them. So he’s adopted a sly strategy. We call it slow-walking. If Winston spies a discarded, unguarded shoe, he’ll casually meander in that direction, grab it, and just keep walking. Slowly. Nothing to see here. Right out the door if no one notices. “Uh, Mom, Winston just slow-walked your shoe out the door.”
It’s apparent that sometimes we think we can “slow-walk” our sin past God. We’re tempted to think that He won’t notice. It’s no big deal, we rationalize—whatever “it” is. But, like Winston, we know better. We know those choices don’t please God.
Like Adam and Eve in the garden, we may try to hide due to the shame of our sin (Genesis 3:10) or pretend like it didn’t happen. But Scripture invites us to do something very different: to run to God’s mercy and forgiveness. Proverbs 28:13 tells us, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
We don’t have to try to slow-walk our sin and hope no one notices. When we tell the truth about our choices—to ourselves, to God, to a trusted friend—we can find freedom from the guilt and shame of carrying secret sin (1 John 1:9).
Are there any ways you’re sometimes tempted to “slow-walk” your sin? What barriers keep you from confession?
Heavenly Father, thank You that my sin doesn’t have the last word. Help me to remember, as I tell You and others the truth, that I can be confident of Your mercy and forgiveness.
A key focus in Proverbs 28 concerns the impact of good and evil leaders on their followers. People will thrive under godly leaders but will be oppressed when leaders don’t honor God (vv. 12, 15–16, 28). Another focus concerns not covering up sin (vv. 13–14, 17–18). Solomon (25:1) makes clear that hiding and not renouncing sin isn’t what a godly leader should do. He may have had in mind his father David when he penned these words: “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (28:13). In Psalm 51, David wrote of the trouble and turmoil in his life when he concealed his sin. For a year after committing adultery and murder, he didn’t confess it. Because of God’s discipline, he was physically afflicted and inwardly tortured. In response to Nathan’s censure (2 Samuel 12), David repented and confessed his sins.