By Brooke Holt
“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:3–5)
“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” From Mark Twain to country songs, we’ve all heard this phrase—and probably agreed with it. But far too often, we’re in denial of our denial. We love to maximize our achievements and positive attributes while minimizing our failures and character flaws. The problem with this tendency is that it leaves people stuck just as they are. God accepts us as we are, but he loves us far too much to leave us that way.
While most people think of guilt as a negative term, recognizing our sin is a vital practice in the Christian life. When we do things that we know are wrong, our conscience weighs on us and motivates us to change our ways. Instead of calling this emotion guilt, however, Christians often call this feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Again, conviction is a good thing. Neither guilt nor conviction is a tool of the Lord to make us feel terrible about our lives or stuck in our sin. Instead, these emotions are gifts from God to expose what is awry in our lives—so that we can make the changes that lead us back to the Lord.
David describes his experience with this conviction: “my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” David was miserable from his sin! He described his guilt as a heaviness that weighed on him day and night. He simply could not escape until he acknowledged his sin to God, until he made a full confession and then received the Lord’s forgiveness.
You will not find joy or comfort when you’re in denial of your sin. But when you acknowledge your sin before the Lord, when you honestly confess that sin, you can ask the Lord to cleanse you, heal you, and set you free. In that place of repentance, you will experience the fullness of God’s love for you and the grace that he makes available to you through his Son. You will find joy in the Lord your God.
David received God’s grace and was restored. Take some time today to examine your heart. Where do you need repentance and restoration today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Crucified Life small group Christian study is designed to reflect upon the Seven Last Words of Christ from the cross and what they mean for us today. Walk the road of Calvary with Jesus in order to grow closer to Him. The Crucified Life small group study examines human suffering as it is mirrored in Christ’s suffering on the cross and what His seven last words say to a hurting world. Find out incredible insights into these words as Jesus teaches us, even in death, how we can use our suffering and triumph over it for His glory. Begin your Crucified Life today.
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