When I Confess

Psalm 32

A psalm of David.
1 Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
2 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,[b]
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
3 When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude
5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude
6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
7 For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude
8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!


James 5:16

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.


This is where Christianity gets painful: In order to find life and healing, we must first confess that we are sick. Here’s a great way to understand what confession is all about:

In prayer we, first, agree with God that we have sinned. Second, we agree with God that Christ’s death paid for that specific sin. And last, we agree with God to turn away from that sin and ask him to empower us to do so (this is called repentance).

Confession and repentance shouldn’t just happen on Sundays. It’s a moment by moment thing we should do when we become aware of sin in our life. Many of the Psalms (like the one above) offer us a wonderful way to lead us in this direction.

Eugene Peterson says “When we pray, we immerse ourselves in the living presence of God. When we pray the Psalms we pray through all the parts of our lives and our history and cover the ground of our guiltiness in sin. We acquire a colorful lexicon of words by which we recognize our detailed involvement in the race’s catastrophic separation from God: rebel, wanderer, lawless, evildoer, guilty, liar, fool, corrupt, wicked.

On this Sabbath day, rejoice with the Psalmist (David) that despite our disobedience, God will faithfully guide us on the best pathway for our life. We can sing for joy with pure hearts, surrounded by his unfailing love.

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