“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” Psalm 51:3
King David wrote Psalm 51 after the prophet Nathan confronted him about his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. The adultery had occurred approximately one year earlier, and David had spent a year trying to cover up his sin. As you read Psalm 51, it becomes apparent that his sin had become a crushing weight of regret, shame, and guilt. David went to bed thinking about his sin. He woke up thinking about his sin. He went about his kingly business thinking about his sin and ate his meals thinking about his sin. Everywhere he went and everything he did, that sin followed him, occupying his thoughts and haunting his dreams.
Unconfessed sin dominates the mind of a Christ follower. If you are truly born again and have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, it is impossible to escape the conviction of unconfessed sin. I say, “unconfessed sin” because it is important to understand that believers do not have to live in constant guilt over our sin – because we are still going to sin. But God has provided a way through His Son that we do not have to live in ongoing bondage to sin. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to not only forgive us, but also to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It is impossible to have a deep, meaningful relationship with Jesus without daily confession of sin. As the Spirit is faithful to convict us of ungodly attitudes, thoughts, and actions, we must then agree with what God says about those things by confessing them and turning our hearts and minds towards God. This rhythm of conviction and confession is essential if we are going to live the abundant life of freedom that Jesus came to give us.
Our sin cannot separate us from God. It can’t rob us of our position in Christ, but it can make us miserable and ineffective witnesses for the cause of Christ. King David didn’t lose his crown. He was still God’s chosen King…but he was a miserable king who was wasting away on the inside. Deep down, he was anything but the picture of a man after God’s own heart. That is exactly how sin affects every believer. You may be able to dress up on the outside to look like royalty, but on the inside sin left undealt with will eat you alive, steal your joy, and fill you with shame.
Praise the Lord that in Christ we can be free from the mental anguish of sin.
God, thank You for the freedom You have given me from the mental anguish of sin. Because of Jesus, I can confess my sin and know that You will always forgive me and cleanse me. Please help me to be sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction and always quick to respond in humble confession. In Jesus’ name, amen.