Why confess our sins to God? The psalmist points to two excellent reasons. First of all, we weren't made to spend our days covering up, to pretend to be what we're not, to live our lives on the run from the truth. The more we don't get off our chest, the harder it is to breathe (v. 3-4). And to the degree I succeed in deceiving even myself into believing I'm innocent of wrong, the more I become both deaf to the cries of those I'm harming and blind to the glory of God's astonishing goodness. I end up needing to be "curbed with bit and bridle" if I'm to do good and not evil.
The second, much more important reason to confess our sins to God is that "steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord." What greater sign can there possibly be that we trust someone than our willingness to confess all to that one?
Holy and gracious God, keep me mindful this day of your goodness and mercy. Give me the courage to confess my sin and the faith to trust your promise of forgiveness so that I may live this day free from fear, freely following Christ to serve all in need. Amen.
Psalm 32 (NRSV)
1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. (Selah)
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Selah)
6 Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. (Selah)
8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.