Getting It Off Your Chest


Unconfessed sin eats us up inside and hinders our prayers.

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. (Psalm 32:5, NLT)

Have you ever had to tell someone something that you didn’t want to? You can often feel churned up inside until it’s over; but once it’s said, what a relief! And that’s exactly how it is with us and God when it comes to “getting it off our chest” where sin is concerned. But when we don’t take God at His word and believe that He really wants to forgive our sin, but keep hiding it or explaining it away instead, it affects us in a number of ways.

First, unconfessed sin eats us up inside. The Bible, anticipating the insights of psychology, says that when we have unresolved conflicts or guilt, it eats away at us. In Psalm 32 David contrasts his experience of hiding his sin with the joy that followed once he confessed it. “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long ... my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4). But when he at last acknowledged his sin, our opening verse today says, he experienced freedom and relief at last.

Second, unconfessed sin hinders our prayers. It stops us praying boldly (for we are still hanging our heads in shame) and it stops God answering as He would like to. As Isaiah put it, “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2); and as Jeremiah said, “Your sins have deprived you of good” (Jeremiah 5:25). God doesn’t look for us to be perfect before He can answer prayer; but He does expect us to be humble and quick to confess our sins when we get things wrong so that we clear the spiritual airwaves.

If you have things that you need to “get off your chest,” don’t put it off any longer. Do it right now!

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. (Psalm 66:18-19)

© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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