Read Psalm 32:1-5
1 Oh,what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
2 Yes,what joy for those
whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
3 When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
5 Finally,I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself,”I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. (NLT)
Taking out the garbage is something we do frequently if not enthusiastically. We get rid of one lot but then accumulate another lot. And so the job goes on and on. None of us just puts the garbage out once: more garbage will come our way and need disposal.
A bit like human wrongdoing. When we first turn to God in repentance and faith we are forgiven. It is not as if subsequent sins negate our acceptance by God. But those subsequent sins do weigh us down,do spoil our relationship with God without removing us from his family. A rebellious child is still a member of the family,though family life is not as it is meant to be.
This is what the Psalmist is expressing. Failure to confess is a failure to remind ourselves of the reality of God’s grace. It is to accumulate garbage which impairs our relationship with God and others. Perhaps even to the extent of affecting our physical and mental health. It is not as if confession gets us saved all over again. It is rather that confession puts us in touch with our salvation,with grace,with pardon. It clears the air,it allows us to relate to God without the futile denial of our failures.
Not confessing our sins regularly is like not putting out the garbage regularly. We end up living in a mess of our own making.