Apart from the countless times that I have confessed my sins directly to God, there have been some occasions when I felt that I needed to make a public confession of sin. I’m not bragging in any way. The Holy Spirit laid it on my heart, and I went through with it. On a few occasions, I knew that other believers present had committed similar sins, but they confessed nothing. That is between them and the Lord. Yet I have watched over time how failure to acknowledge our sin can breed a pride that is almost impossible to root out.
It is human nature to want to cover our sins. Nobody wants to be embarrassed. In modern times exposing peoples’ sins has become almost a sport. This lessens peoples’ willingness to make confessions. Not that people need to hear all of the sins we have committed. They don’t. Most of the time our sin is between God and us. However, there are times when we do need to acknowledge wrongdoing publically. The old timers used to say that our confession should be proportional to peoples’ knowledge of what was done.
I have always marveled at the way in which people can condemn others knowing they have done similar sins. I attended a court hearing once when a judge scolded a young man and ended his rantings with a sobering question, “Do you know what the difference is between you and me? You got caught and I didn’t!” True story. I have to wonder, do people really think that the basis of guilt is whether or not a person is actually caught? Does he think that because he is a judge on the courts that God is somehow going to excuse his sin? What makes people believe they are “above the law?”
David deserved death, but because he acknowledged his sin, God put away his sin. He would have to face the consequences of his actions, but his relationship with God was restored. What has God said? If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Amen.