“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night Your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.” Psalms 32:1-4 NLT
We continue our pilgrimage through the Book of Psalms with the first four verses of Psalm 32. The Psalmist, David, captures so clearly the dilemma of mankind concerning guilt. God has wired each one of us with a conscience and when we violate that conscience, terrible things can happen to us. In David’s case, it drove him into illness and depression, graphically described in the verses above. Some people spend a lot of money on counsellors and psychiatrists to try and relieve their symptoms. Others will drive the problem deep within their subconscious, suppressing the problem and hoping it will go away. Still others seem to have the strength to ignore the problem. But the guilty conscience is still there, easily resurrected by a passing thought or situation. There is only one remedy for sin and guilt, and that is by coming into God’s presence with a truly repentant heart, confessing the sins that make us feel so guilty, believing that through Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary we are washed clean of sin and are cleansed of a guilty conscience. And the peace and joy of God will flood over us, restoring us to the place God designed for us – true fellowship with Him.
Are my thoughts too simplistic? Do they ignore the consequences of confessing sins, consequences that, potentially, could impact our ways of life, our friendships, even freedom? But regardless of the consequences, I know of no other remedy to cure a soul of guilt.