“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
I’ve always thought of confession and repentance as a New Testament concept. It’s probably because I’ve always thought of the Old Testament as more about animal sacrifices than about real repentance, but that’s not the case. God doesn’t change. He’s the same today as he was when Jesus walked the earth, and the same as he was when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. God has always been interested in confession, repentance, and forgiveness. The proverb shows us that.
Proverbs is a book of wisdom, and this verse is full of it. It shows two different ways of handling sin. You can hide it, hold on to it, let it fester in your life, or you can confess it and rid yourself of it. The second one no doubt sounds better, but it’s not as easy as it seems. I think we all know that from experience. Sin produces shame. We don’t want people to know the vile and dark things we’re capable of. We don’t want our secrets to be exposed. Whether it’s for fear of judgment or a damaged reputation, we feel real resistance to the thought of airing out our dirty laundry.
That’s because Satan desperately wants you to keep it to yourself. That way, he wins. He can hold it over you, make you feel guilty, convince you that you’re not worthy of forgiveness at all. Luckily, that isn’t true. The thing Satan doesn’t want you to know is that as soon as you confess the sin, it loses its power over you. You’re no longer trapped by the secret, no longer enslaved by the sin. When you confess your sin, God can begin to use it for your good. He can put people around you to help you put an end to it. He can bring redemption to your life. And when you’ve received that mercy and healing has followed, God can use your story to help others.
It’s scary, but it’s the best thing you can do. Don’t hide the sin in your life. Confess is humbly to other Christians and allow them to help you. Allow God to forgive you. Allow his mercy to save you.
I am a sinner. Help me to be bold enough to admit to my failures and confess my sin. Forgive me for my sin, have mercy on me, and redeem me. Let the work you do in my life be an encouragement for others around me.
In Jesus’ Name,