Confessing sin is much harder than I thought. I came to this realization recently after wounding someone very dear to me.

For most of my 17 years as a Christian, confession has come relatively easily in two regards. The first is in agreeing with God about the fact that I sin in a general sense. The second is responding well when other people confront me with a particular sin. While I still work through self-defensive responses, it doesn’t take much for me to agree that I am at fault in the matter. But… there is a third category of confession that I have largely avoided up to this point in my life.

What do I do with those sins that bring deep shame? The ones I conceal and hope will disappear? The ones that might ruin my reputation or my relationships with the people I love most?

If I’m honest, I know the first two areas of confession mentioned above don’t cost me much. But the third might cost me everything. God promises that when we confess our sins we will obtain mercy and that he will cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9. Am I willing to obey God when he tells me to confess my secret sins and trust him with the results, even if I might lose the very thing I’m trying to protect?

My temptation is to move quickly past this topic, but I encourage us all to wrestle with it.

Merciful Father, reading this has exposed my propensity to conceal small things which turn into big things. Please help me keep short accounts with you and others in order to experience you more. Amen.

Go Deeper — Are you struggling with a besetting secret sin? Spend some time talking with God about what you need to confess and to whom you need to confess it. It will be extremely uncomfortable, but it will also bring you unspeakable joy.

Read Further — What if you feel your sins are too great to be forgiven? Is it always possible to be freed from shame and guilt?

Tags: Trust & Obey Proverbs 28
Photo Credit: Mikito Tateisi