Sin. It’s lethal, disastrous, wreckful, deadly, and it’s like a virus. If it’s ignored or unattended for too long, it will get worse. For example, the common cold is a curable virus. There are notable signs and symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and fever that inform your body to rest and drink plenty of fluids. However, if you don’t take care of yourself, the cold can lead into pneumonia and become fatal. The same is true when we allow the virus of unconfessed sin linger in our hearts and minds.
When the prophet Nathan pointed his finger at King David and told him his sins were known by God, it shook David to his core. He was ignoring the signs and symptoms of his sins for a while, but no longer could he hide the fact that he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband Uriah.
David later realized the consequences of unconfessed sin and wrote about it in the Psalms. First, he experienced physical distress. He said “When I kept silent my bones grew old through my groaning all day long.” How many of you have experienced physical distress when you don’t confess your faults to God or others? When you hold guilt inside, it’s like shaking up a soda can with the top on. It will eventually blow up.
I remember when my brother and I got into a heated argument when I was in college. I got angry with him and tackled him on the ground. For the next couple of days we didn’t talk to each other. I felt like my insides were being eaten alive by guilt and stress. My pride kept me from admitting my fault, but the pain of our fractured relationship motivated me to repent. Finally, I confessed my sin to him and God. I felt like David who said, “Let me hear joy and gladness, let the bones that you have broken rejoice.” When we confess our sins, it not only brings healing to our souls, but it brings restoration to those whom you have sinned against. Today, there are only three people that I can talk to on the phone more than an hour: My wife of course, my Mom, and my brother Brian. I am so grateful that our relationship has been restored.
Perhaps you’re at a place in your life where your prayers seem to go nowhere. You pray, and it appears that God does not hear you. Could it be that you have unconfessed sin in your life? The Psalmist states, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Any sin harbored in our lives will build a wall between us and God.
The Word of God says in 1 John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” This is why he sent Jesus to die for our sins. Jesus died for all sins, past, present, and future. So if you find yourself praying and not receiving answers, examine your heart before God. Ask him to reveal any unconfessed sin so that you might receive forgiveness and then press onward.
What are some benefits to confessing our sins to God and others? When we confess sin to someone it is no longer ignored but brought into the open. A brother or sister can keep you accountable and help you get through whatever struggles you are facing. When we confess sin, it becomes reassuring when you find out that others are also struggling with that same sin. You are able to relate to each other more. Lastly, confession helps you realize you have a close connection to God and have received His grace. What can be better than knowing your relationship with God is healthy as a result of your honesty and integrity before Him?
You can pray or confess sin where you are. You don’t need to go to a confession booth or consult a priest. If you are a believer you have direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ. He is our High Priest, our Mediator. I encourage you to pray to Him now and share your burdens. Amen.