Fear is often the reason we hesitate to admit our failures to each other. We are afraid if we admit our deep secrets people will shun us, won’t love us or think less of us. We fear losing our reputation, or that others may divulge our secrets. Of course these can be genuine fears. Yet the psalmists knew that confessing sins to God brings great relief. Only after David admitted his sin of adultery and murder was he liberated from the pain of grief. Failure to confess our sins to God, like refusing to forgive others who offend us, can result in emotional or even physical illness. The writer of Psalm 66 had such a positive experience after confessing his sins to God that he wrote this:
“Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.”
May God give us grace to confess our sins—to others when we have offended them, but to God under all circumstances.